Focus Enhancements yesterday announced that its semiconductor group has demonstrated the ability to transmit high-definition TV signals through a wall using its ultrawideband (UWB) technology.

Many UWB applications have been targeted to serve areas of 10 feet, and the IEEE standard calls for UWB products to deliver throughputs of 110 Mb/s at 10 meters. However, the Focus solution extends Multiband OFDM Alliance (MBOA) performance to expected data speeds of 880 Mb/s at eight meters and 37 Mb/s at more than 40 meters.

Combined with UWB’s ability to penetrate walls, the high data rates are expected to make the Focus product ideal for distributing HDTV signals throughout the rooms of a home or small building.

“Other solutions fall short in delivering sustained high-resolution video, are hampered by short range, and/or are subject to interference from microwave ovens and cordless telephones,” Tom Hamilton, executive vice president and general manager of the Focus semiconductor group, said in a prepared statement. “We have managed to overcome these obstacles--even sending an HD stream through a wall--and come up with something that can actually work in the real world."

But UWB’s application are not limited to the consumer space--the technology can be used for distributing video to and from remote cameras, such as those used for security surveillance, according to Mike Kelly, vice president of marketing for Focus. In addition, UWB is ideal for tracking, whether it is a firefighter in a building or inventory in a warehouse, he said.

“There are a lot of potential applications,” Kelly said. “We just want to get working chipsets in the hands of people who can make them happen.”

Kelly said production of the UWB chips will begin during the third quarter of this year, and integrated modules are expected to available during the fourth quarter.