The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) today announced the development of the Media Agnostic (MA) USB specification. The specification is designed to allow wireless devices and docking stations to communicate over the USB protocol, without the need for a physical USB connection. An important design goal of the specification is to achieve wireless gigabit transfer rates while leveraging existing USB infrastructure, present in the form of:
- Open application programming interfaces in every major operating system
- USB class specifications by USB-IF device working groups
- A wealth of open-source/OS specific drivers for USB classes
- Vendor-specific device drivers for a multitude of USB vendor-specific devices
The WiGig Serial Extension (WSE) v1.2 specification from the Wi-Fi Alliance will provide the initial foundation for the Media Agnostic USB specification. The WSE specification has been formally transferred to the USB-IF from the Wi-Fi Alliance, and the WSE specification already incorporates the USB protocol.
"We are pleased to see the USB-IF use the WiGig Serial Extension in its development of the Media Agnostic USB specification," said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "Advanced wireless usages of serial bus technology have the potential to deliver great benefit to users."
Wireless devices implementing the Media Agnostic USB specification will be compliant with SuperSpeed USB (USB 3.0) and Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0). The USB-IF has established a Media Agnostic USB Work Group which is currently developing the MA USB specification 1.0.