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Nintendo Wii wireless problem illustrates RF communications issues

A portion of an EDN article…

As if Nintendo didn’t have enough excitement with flying game controllers, conversations with Broadcom, supplier of the Bluetooth and WiFi chips in the Wii suggests that as use of the game console expands another serious issue will confront advanced users. This is once again a system design problem, but it should be laid at the feet not of Nintendo or Broadcom, but of the standards committees who formulated the Bluetooth and 802.11 specifications.

The problem is that when used simultaneously in close proximity the two radios interfere with each other. In theory this is absolutely not true: 802.11 uses a wide frequency band that should make it relatively insensitive to narrow-band interference, and Bluetooth—with Advanced Frequency Hopping (AFH) enabled, is supposed to gracefully move away from any frequency band with a high level of energy in it. Trouble is, the standards folks with their superb modeling skills apparently never actually tried this in the real world, with both radios in the same box. Bluetooth and WiFi don’t coexist well at all.

Read the full article here

Categories: Consoles
Tags: wii

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