Audi accelerates Bluetooth adoption using CSR silicon

12/11/2002 - CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) announced that car maker Audi will be using CSR's BlueCore technology to bring Bluetooth to the road with the world’s first car to be offered with a GSM car phone and cordless handset both Bluetooth-enabled. The Bluetooth equipped Audi models are rolled out throughout countries supporting the GSM network in Europe and Asia starting December 2002.

The Audi Bluetooth enabled Telematics Control Unit (TCU) is combining an embedded GSM module and an embedded Bluetooth module with a powerful CPU. It is connected to the Multi-Media-Interface (MMI) through an optical MOST Bus system. The system is also equipped with an in-car rechargeable cordless Bluetooth handset which allows the passengers to place and accept calls directly through the TCU Bluetooth link. The user is thus able to place calls over the Bluetooth handset and to transfer that call to the Bluetooth enabled handsfree phone system in the Audi. One of the eagerly awaited benefits of Bluetooth, possible with this system, is the ability to also connect a Bluetooth-enabled portable PC or PDA to exchange emails and surf the internet via a cellular system while connected through the TCU.

Bluetooth in-car handsfree kits are likely to play a key role as handsfree operation of mobiles becomes preferable, and increasingly, legally required in the near future. Industry experts estimate that up to 70 percent of all mobile phone calls are made from cars. Bluetooth hands-free systems provide a safe, convenient alternative and are set to become the first killer app for automotive Bluetooth. Audi identified the benefits of Bluetooth and took the step of integrating the wireless technology into its vehicles ahead of the competition.

Ken Noblitt, Business Development Director for Mobile Phones and Automotive applications in the US at CSR added, "To match Audi's stringent quality, reliability and interoperability requirements, the Bluetooth equipment had to be guaranteed to withstand Audi's in-cabin automotive requirements". Noblitt continued, "At this time, only CSR's BlueCore offers such a guarantee to operate or exceed the necessary range of -40degC to +105degC for in-cabin electronics systems. Automakers and Automotive Tier One suppliers can not afford to rely on anything less."

CSR provides everything necessary to assist automotive designers in developing a fully featured Bluetooth hands-free system, including a reference design, circuit descriptions, a complete BOM and all software (including the embedded Bluetooth stack). The hands-free profile runs in external Flash memory but the circuit design may be easily converted to a ROM-based single chip solution.

CSR is the only automotive grade Bluetooth solution available which can run the complete Bluetooth protocol stack and application software on-chip, without the need for an optional external microprocessor. CSR's mature, single-chip automotive Bluetooth device is also produced under very stringent QS-9000 and PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) automotive requirements and is available in a 0.8mm pitch package for low cost printed circuit board construction.

In the future, CSR will make available implementations of new automotive profiles for vehicle diagnostics, streaming video and mp3 file streaming for multitmedia and info-entertainment. CSR will also work towards further extending the guaranteed temperature range of BlueCore2-External and future products.

About CSR
CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) specialises in providing single-chip radio devices to the global market for short-range wireless communications, including BluetoothTM. The company's mission is to create the most highly integrated radio devices available, fabricated using standard CMOS technology, to provide its customers with the lowest cost of ownership of high quality digital radio.

CSR was the first company in the world to offer a true single-chip Bluetooth solution with BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller. In Q4 2001 CSR released BlueCore2, its second generation family, and offer developed hardware/software bundles for each of the fastest growing Bluetooth applications markets. Users can combine the chips with the CSR Bluetooth software stack to provide a fully compliant solution for data and voice communications or, used with an upper layer host software stack, CSR is able to offer a complete Bluetooth end-to-end solution.

CSR has a growing list of major international companies including Microsoft Corp, Samsung, Sony, Compaq, IBM, Fujitsu, LG, ALPS, TDK, 3Com, Mitsumi, Siemens and Motorola, who have already used CSR's BlueCore in the development of a range of Bluetooth products. In fact, 70% of available pre-qualified modules, as listed on the qualified products page of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) web site, feature BlueCore and it is in 56% of all qualified Bluetooth v 1.1 enabled end product designs.

CSR is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with offices in Richardson, Texas; Tokyo, Japan; Singapore and Aalborg, Denmark.

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