Nokia has just taken the wraps off a new short-range wireless networking standard called Wibree. This is intended to complement a similar wireless networking standard, Bluetooth, not replace it.
Wibree is optimized for applications requiring extremely low power consumption, small size, and low cost. It will offer connectivity between handhelds, smartphones, and PCs and small, button-cell battery powered accessories such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys, and sports sensors.
Wibree can be implemented either as stand-alone chip or as Bluetooth/Wibree dual-mode chip. The small devices like watches and sports sensors will be based on a stand-alone chip, while Bluetooth devices will use the dual-mode solution, extending Bluetooth device connectivity to a new range of very small devices.
This new wireless standard can connect devices that are 30 feet apart or less. It will have a data transfer rate of 1 Mbps.
Coming Next Year
Despite today’s announcement, the Wibree standard is still being finalized.
The goal is to have the new technology available to the market as fast as possible, so Nokia is defining the Wibree interoperability specification together with a group of companies representing semiconductor manufacturers, device makers, and qualification service providers.
The technology will be made broadly available to the industry through an open and preferably existing forum. Nokia and its partners are still deciding what to do about the forum, but this will be ready by the time the specification is finalized.
According to the current estimate the first commercial version of the Wibree interoperability specification will be available during second quarter of 2007.
For more information on Wibree see its new web site.