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Nokia has just introduced a new short-range wireless networking standard called Wibree. This is intended to complement Bluetooth – not replace it.

Wibree radio technology complements other local connectivity technologies, consuming only a fraction of the power compared to other such radio technologies, enabling smaller and less costly implementations and being easy to integrate with Bluetooth solutions. Wibree is the first open technology offering connectivity between mobile devices or Personal Computers, and small, button cell battery power devices such as watches, wireless keyboards, toys and sports sensors.

By extending the role mobile devices can play in consumers’ lives, this technology increases the growth potential in these market segments.
Wibree is the first wireless technology to solve the following needs in a single solution.

* Ultra low peak, average and idle mode power consumption
* Ultra low cost and small size for accessories and human interface devices (HID)
* Minimal cost and size addition to mobile phones and PCs
* Global, intuitive and secure multi-vendor interoperability

Wibree radio specification

Wibree radio specification enables dual-mode implementations to reuse Bluetooth RF part but also to guarantee ultra low power consumption for devices with embedded stand-alone implementation of the Wibree specification. Wibree operates in 2.4 GHz ISM band with physical layer bit rate of 1 Mbps and provides link distance of 5-10 meters.

Wibree link layer specification

Wibree link layer provides ultra low power idle mode operation, simple device discovery and reliable point-to-multipoint data transfer with advanced power-save and encryption functionalities. The link layer provides means to schedule Wibree traffic in between Bluetooth transmissions.

Wibree host and profile specifications

In the first phase Wibree provides sensor, HID and watch user interface profiles.

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 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.

Written by Gary