SOURCE: Icron Technologies Corporation

June 22, 2005 16:15 ET

Freescale and Icron Eliminate USB 2.0 Wires With Ultra-Wideband

'Plug and Play' Capability Brings High-Speed Wireless Ultra-Wideband Solution to PC, Mobile and Consumer Applications

ORLANDO, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 22, 2005 -- Freescale Technology Forum -- Leveraging the 700 million USB-enabled devices worldwide, Freescale Semiconductor (NYSE: FSL) (NYSE: FSL.B) and Icron Technologies Corporation (TSX-V: IT), have demonstrated the industry's first USB 2.0 wireless solution using Ultra-Wideband (UWB).

This new solution, which combines Icron's ExtremeUSB with Freescale's UWB chipset, is designed to allow manufacturers of PCs, peripherals, and consumer electronics applications to wirelessly enable their USB products.

Unlike other efforts to create an entirely new USB standard to incorporate UWB technology, Freescale and Icron's planned USB-over-UWB wireless solution is USB 2.0-compatible and designed to support existing USB 1.1 and USB 2.0 devices in the market today. This gives users a "plug and play" experience right out of the box.

"The vast installed base of USB 1.1- and USB 2.0-enabled devices worldwide offers many opportunities to provide a wireless solution," said Brian O'Rourke, senior analyst at In-Stat. "According to a recent USB research report by In-Stat, there were 706 million USB-enabled devices in the market in 2004 and that number is forecast to increase to 2.1 billion in 2009."

OEMs can expect to integrate the Freescale UWB solution featuring USB into small modules the size of typical USB flash drives, which can be plugged into any USB port. For example, a consumer could replace the cable between a laptop and USB printer by simply plugging the module into the USB port on each device, effectively eliminating the cable connection and replacing it with a high speed wireless solution capable of transmitting up to 20 meters.

"Icron's ExtremeUSB technology allows us to leverage the large, installed base of USB applications that desire the high data rate, low power consumption performance of UWB," said Martin Rofheart, director of Ultra-Wideband operations at Freescale. "With a relatively new technology such as UWB, our OEM customers are looking for a proven connection to existing standards -- not layering a new technology onto a newly developed specification."

The primary benefit of Icron's ExtremeUSB solution is the existing USB 1.1 and 2.0 support, which requires no additional drivers, host controller changes, or users configurations. It is a true USB "plug and play" solution that gives the user a wire-like USB experience. It supports all USB-supported operating systems such as Windows®, MAC® OS, Linux®, UNIX and Solaris. The combination of ExtremeUSB and Freescale's UWB is designed to provide a high-rate, wireless solution that can be used in conjunction with the USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices in the market today.

"We identified Freescale's chipset as an ideal UWB platform for the implementation of our ExtremeUSB technology due to its performance and availability," commented Robert Eisses, vice president of sales and marketing at Icron. "The market wants a simple USB 2.0 wire replacement solution, and this solution is the quickest and easiest way to make that happen, while still supporting the existing USB standards."

About the Demonstration

A demonstration of the USB-over-UWB wireless solution is being shown this week at the Freescale Technology Forum being held in Orlando, Fla., through June 23.

The demonstration is based on Freescale's DS-UWB radio chipset, the XS110, which is FCC-approved and commercially available. It is paired with the commercially available FPGA-based ExtremeUSB code delivering immediate support to USB 1.1 and 2.0 devices and device classes. The demonstration features multiple USB 2.0 devices including a Flash drive, DVD player playing high definition (HD) video, a USB 2.0-enabled digital still camera and a Web camera, wirelessly transmitting via Freescale's DS-UWB solutions.

While this demonstration does not yet support the highest rate of USB 2.0, the next generation of Freescale UWB products, scheduled to sample later this year, is designed to integrate the ExtremeUSB technology for USB 2.0 support embedded in the chipset under a per-unit license agreement with Icron. The XS660, a 660-megabits per second (Mbps) UWB solution from Freescale, is designed to deliver wireless capability up to 20 meters and exceed the 480 Mbps data rate required for USB 2.0.

About Freescale Semiconductor

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. (NYSE: FSL) (NYSE: FSL.B) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. Freescale became a publicly traded company in July 2004 after more than 50 years as part of Motorola, Inc. The company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale, a member of the S&P 500®, is one of the world's largest semiconductor companies with 2004 sales of $5.7 billion (US).

www.freescale.com/uwb

About Icron Technologies Corporation

Icron Technologies Corporation's patented ExtremeUSB® technology extends the range of USB in wired environments and enables wireless USB over any RF technology. ExtremeUSB is the only USB-IF compliant extension solution and is deployed globally in a wide range of applications including: industrial automation, medical device, aerospace, KVM and computer networking. ExtremeUSB technology is available in a variety of formats including technology licenses, OEM modules, developer kits, as well as branded and private-label products. The company also provides a range of engineering and development services focused on unique USB connectivity issues.

www.icron.com

Icron is a publicly traded corporation and trades under the symbol "IT" on the TSX Venture Exchange. For information on the company and its products, please visit www.icron.com, and for detailed financial information, visit www.sedar.com. The Toronto Venture Exchange has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: Except for statements of historical fact, all statements in this news release -- including, without limitation, statements regarding financial estimates and future plans and objectives of Icron -- are forward-looking statements that involve various risks and uncertainties. There can be no assurance that such statements will prove to be accurate; actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements.

2005 Icron Technologies Corporation. ExtremeUSB®, USB Ranger™ are trademarks of Icron Technologies Corporation.

Freescale™ and the Freescale logo are trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. © Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. 2005.

Contact Information

  • Freescale Media Contacts:
    North America:
    Robin Vaitonis
    Freescale Semiconductor
    512-895-2723
    Email Contact

    Europe, Middle East and Africa:
    Regina Cirmonova
    Freescale Semiconductor
    +41 22 799 1258
    Email Contact

    Asia Pacific:
    Gloria Shiu (Hong Kong)
    Freescale Semiconductor
    +852-2666-8237
    Email Contact

    Koichi Yoshimura (Japan)
    Freescale Semiconductor
    +81-3-5437-9350
    Email Contact

    Icron Media Contacts

    Icron Technologies Corporation
    Robert Eisses
    VP Sales and Marketing
    Email Contact
    Phone: 604-638-3924
    Fax: 604-638-3930

    The Howard Group
    David Gordon
    Investor Relations for Icron
    Email Contact
    Phone: 403-221-0915
    Fax: 403-237-8387