HID Global, NXP Semiconductors, Samsung Electronics and Bosch, leading companies in access, secure connectivity and mobile/CE device solutions has announced the launch of the FiRa Consortium to grow Ultra-Wideband (UWB) ecosystem.
The new coalition is designed to grow the UWB ecosystem so new use cases for fine ranging capabilities can thrive, ultimately setting a new standard in seamless user experiences. Sony Imaging Products & Solutions, LitePoint and the Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) are the first companies to join the newly-formed organization.
The FiRa name, which stands for “Fine Ranging,” highlights UWB technology’s unique ability to deliver unprecedented accuracy when measuring the distance or determining the relative position of a target. Especially in challenging environments, UWB technology outperforms other technologies in terms of accuracy, power consumption, robustness in RF connection, and security, by a wide margin.
“As an industry consortium, we believe UWB technology can transform the way people experience connectivity, and we’re committed to the widespread adoption of interoperable UWB technologies,” said Charlie Zhang, Chair, FiRa Consortium and VP Engineering, Samsung Electronics.
The starting point for UWB technology is the IEEE standard 802.15.4/4z, which defines the essential characteristics for low-data-rate wireless connectivity and enhanced ranging. It is the aim of the FiRa Consortium to build on what the IEEE has already established, by developing an interoperability standard based on the IEEE’s profiled features, defining mechanisms that are out of scope of the IEEE standard, and pursuing activities that support rapid development of specific use cases.
Due to its low power spectral density, UWB offers little to no interference with other wireless standards, so it is well suited for use with other wireless technologies, including Near Field Communication (NFC), Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. There are also adjacent markets that leverage UWB in other ways, especially automotive.
“The FiRa Consortium’s commitment to a complete ecosystem means we will work with other consortia and industry players to develop approaches and define parameters,” said Charles Dachs, Vice-Chair, FiRa Consortium and GM & VP Secure Embedded Transactions, NXP Semiconductors.
Ramesh Songukrishnasamy, Director and Treasurer of the FiRa Consortium, and SVP & CTO of HID Global said, “We encourage anyone, from any relevant industry area, who has a vested interest in the success of UWB to join us and contribute to the Consortium’s work.”
Yongbum Park, Vice President, Telecommunications Technology Association said, “Device-to-device fine ranging technology without additional equipment is very useful for home or industrial applications. We believe that FiRa technology will change our lives.”