CSR Offers Bluetooth Source Code in Extended BlueCore Host Software

4/17/2003 - CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) has announced it is providing its customers with an extended version of BlueCore Host Software (BCHS). Called BCHS-HCI, it includes the source code for all layers down to the host controller interface (HCI). With CSR's buyout option, customers are given full access to the source code to enable a much more complete software-based Bluetooth offering which is royalty-free and hence very price competitive for mass market applications such as mobile phones, access points or PDAs. The HCI split also brings performance advantages of full Bluetooth data rates up to 721Kbps and the full piconet support of 7 slaves. BCHS-HCI is available now from www.csr.com

CSR's BCHS-HCI presents an ideal offering for large volume mobile phone, PDA and access point manufacturers who will appreciate access to Bluetooth's full data rates and full Bluetooth network support while still benefiting from the cost and ease-of design advantages presented by BCHS. CSR's full shrink-wrapped offering is intended to complement BlueCore hardware. It incorporates the necessary Bluetooth profiles and demo applications to give manufacturers a much faster time to market.

BCHS together with the BlueCore IC with embedded Bluetooth core stack is a complete Bluetooth solution from RF to qualified Bluetooth profiles. BCHS includes most of the Bluetooth complexity - the profiles, security, connection manager and application layers. Users are also given a simple, standard API that remains intact even with the new HCI split. The guide supplied makes it easy to port BCHS to the target platform. These features make it possible to develop a Bluetooth product using BlueCore and BCHS without the requirement for in-depth knowledge of Bluetooth.

BCHS-HCI complements CSR's existing lower cost option BCHS-RFCOMM. This requires less of the host's resources - only 100KB ROM and 50KB RAM. At half duplex, BCHS-RFCOMM has a lower data rate of 360kbit/s and support for 3 slaves on a piconet - this compares to the 721kbit/s and 7 slaves support offered by BCHS-HCI. Because both the RFCOMM and HCI variants use the same interface, it is possible for customers to easily upgrade to HCI without the need for complicated redesigning.

BCHS also brings extensive power saving modes ideal for portable devices. Traditional Bluetooth power-down modes of sniff, hold and park remain supported, however, BCHS adds an extended, deep-sleep mode for maximizing battery life. All of these features are intended to enable CSR customers to implement Bluetooth functionality into embedded products quickly, at low cost and with low risk.

Eric Janson, worldwide vice president, marketing, CSR commented, "The higher performance of a HCI split on our leading BCHS software is likely to be very attractive, especially to the price sensitive mobile device manufacturers who demand the maximum Bluetooth performance." Janson continued, "This technological shift has made it possible for us to offer a more competitive product without comprising on the functionality and ease of design of BCHS-RFCOMM."

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