xMax and the “cloak of secrecy”

Given my promise to respond to questions I feel obligated to respond to a number of recent e-mails about xMax, even though my interest in this topic is rapidly decreasing. The point these e-mail were making is that because XG Technology has been keeping the details of xMax under wraps, it is not possible for an outsider to evaluate the viability of the technology, and therefore my xMax related postings must be unfounded. This is simply not true for the following reasons.

First, it should be firmly understood that one can make statements which apply to any communication system. The performance of communication systems is limited by the presence of noise, and the availability of signal power and bandwidth. Surely it is not too difficult to understand that given a finite amount of resources (power, bandwidth) and the inevitable presence of noise, there are limits on what can be done. These limits are well established and well understood by communication engineers, and have been for many years. These limits apply to any communication system, past, present or future, and they can be stated without knowing anything about the details of any particular system. My posts on “xMax meets Shannon”, “xMax meets Shannon once again”, and “xMax and waveform communication”, attempted to discuss these limits and show that one of their consequences is the immediate refutation of the performance claims made about xMax.

Second, it should be noted that some information about xMax performance (not design details) is readily available on the web. The operating parameters of several experiments/demonstrations have been presented by XG Technology. Any competent communication engineer can analyze these data and draw the conclusion that the xMax performance claims are not supported by the published data. There is no need to know anything about how the xMax technology works in reaching these conclusions, because the point of the analysis was that conventional systems operating under the same conditions will also provide the reported performance. In other words what we need to know to reach these conclusions is the performance characteristics of conventional communication systems, not how xMax operates.

Given the available evidence it is very clear that the xMax performance claims are false. Knowledge of the details of how xMax operates can not change this fact. Such knowledge can only be useful in revealing the precise conceptual flaws which lead the xMax developers to believe that their claims are true. One can make a fairly good guess at the nature of these conceptual flaws from reading the patents and various statements by Mr. Bobier. However, no such guessing is needed to refute the published xMax performance claims. The only thing that the continued “cloak of secrecy” is accomplishing is the perpetuation of these unfortunate conceptual errors. It is too bad they are not seeking opposing views. They should be aware of the old saying:

“If anyone can show me, and prove to me, that I am wrong in thought or deed, I will gladly change. I seek the truth, which never yet hurt anybody. It is only persistence in self-delusion and ignorance which does harm.”
Marcus Aurelius

I should once again emphasize that there is every reason to believe that the xMax technology works. My comments are only meant to explain that its performance is not and can not be better than that of conventional systems. Nor am I making any comments or predictions about the business aspects of this technology. I am only addressing purely technical issues.

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2 responses to “xMax and the “cloak of secrecy”

  1. Pingback: Great Leaps Still Possible in Wireless - Caller IP

  2. JimDeGries@gmail.com

    Without doubt significant progress can still be made in wireless. However, inventing a new modulation technique can not provide significant improvements for reasons I have discussed in a number of posts, so I will not repeat them here. The claims of greatly improved range and the ability to operate with far less power are simply false. If the people making these claims actually believe in them, they are suffering from some serious misconceptions about communication theory and signal processing. The skepticism is not about the possibility of great leaps in wireless. The skepticism is about the xMax claims (which violate well known performance limits), the excessive secrecy, the lack of useful technical information about performance, the lack of validation by independent experts, the lack of publications in credible technical journals, prior actions by the inventor (such as working on a system to transmit 6 MBPS in a 30KHz channel!) and the obvious conceptual errors in his patents, etc. etc. etc.

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