Today’s wireless applications demand more bandwidth than ever. The WiMedia Ultrawideband (UWB) specifications are the most advanced high performance wireless specifications available for low cost, low power, consumer and information technology products.

Any communications scheme which transfers data across a network cannot expect to utilize the full bandwidth of the medium since some data is required to describe the content of the data, routing information and other protocol needs. This document investigates the sources of protocol overhead inherent in implementations of the WiMedia UWB specifications. We explain the structure of the Physical Layer (PHY) frame and how the Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol uses the frame to carry its very high performance data. We show how key components of the frame structure and MAC protocol overheads affect protocol efficiency and how they can be exploited to minimize their effects and maximize performance.

After you have read this paper you will:

  • Understand the PHY frame structure and its timing
  • Understand key aspects of the MAC protocol and its cost as overhead
  • Know how to select optimal values for frame payload length
  • Understand throughput available to an application