CSR Leads Bluetooth Evolution with BlueCore3

6/9/2003 - CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio), the Bluetooth wireless technology industry leader, announced the launch of its third generation single chip silicon, marking a major step in the evolution of Bluetooth silicon. CSR continues to lead the market by developing its Bluetooth solutions to provide increased integration, higher performance and a range of devices optimized for different applications while driving down costs. BlueCore3 is also the first complete implementation of the Bluetooth v1.2 standard (including all optional features of the standard) which improves coexistence of Bluetooth with other 2.4GHz systems.

CSR is launching the first products in the BlueCore3 range, which will satisfy the needs of both OEMs and consumers and ensure that CSR has the technology to maintain its leadership in Bluetooth for the foreseeable future. The two products demonstrate the two ends of the Bluetooth market: for enhanced audio devices, BlueCore3-Multimedia is the world's first Bluetooth device to offer a user- programmable DSP and enables new breakthrough consumer applications such as Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones; for low cost, high-volume applications, BlueCore3-ROM sets new standards for a highly integrated product that is both reliable and robust. Its compact size and competitive price makes it particularly suited to mobile handset applications.

BlueCore3-ROM uses 18 percent less current compared to previous generations, offering great advantages for power-conscious mobile applications. In addition, new algorithms on BlueCore allow the page scan interval of Bluetooth to be adapted to that of mobile phones thus significantly further increasing the battery life of Bluetooth enabled mobile phones. The ROM solution is now available in very small CSP (chip scale, 4x4mm package) as well as BGA and RF Plug and Go packages, allowing greater flexibility for OEMs' designs. The CSP provides the industry's smallest footprint while Plug & Go package integrates matching circuitry such that an antenna may be directly connected to the chip.

The firmware employed in CSR's BlueCore is a robust solution making it well placed to commit to ROM and enabling a cost-effective Bluetooth solution that allows easy integration into many devices. BlueCore3-ROM's improved built-in self-test (BIST) routines also help to speed production testing, enabling a faster time to market. CSR has also placed particular emphasis on easy migration from BlueCore2 to BlueCore3 in order to further improve time to market for existing customers.

BlueCore3-Multimedia contains an open platform DSP co-processor that is particularly suitable for enhanced audio applications. The solution includes a 16-bit stereo audio CODEC with dual ADC and DAC for stereo audio. With integrated amplifiers for driving microphone and speakers, BlueCore3-Multimedia is a highly compact Bluetooth solution requiring only minimal external components. BlueCore3-Multimedia is available in LFBGA package.

BlueCore3 also implements v1.2's eSCO facility to provide the basis for advanced cordless telephony applications for Bluetooth. SCO is the Synchronous and Connection Oriented physical link, which transports voice across a Bluetooth link. Extended SCO (or eSCO) channels are error checking voice channels, which allow polled retransmissions. Raw data can be sent over SCO, and data rates may also be negotiated, thus improving on the current data rates for high quality-of-service connections. With this function, detection and re-transmission of lost or destroyed voice packets is possible with a minimum impact on real-time performance - essential for high quality voice transmission.

In earlier incarnations of BlueCore, CSR employed a variety of measures to prevent radio interference - these resulted in BlueCore being selected for the leading laptop and combo card designs. Over the last two years, CSR has been heavily involved in the development of AFH (Adaptive Frequency Hopping), a feature integrated into Bluetooth v1.2 that coordinates the frequency channels that both Bluetooth and other 2.4GHz radio devices use so that they don't interfere with each other. For this reason, CSR's BlueCore3 is even more suitable for a number of combo designs where WiFi and Bluetooth are required to work together in one product.

Eric Janson, worldwide vice president, marketing, CSR commented, "Bluetooth has indeed come of age, and our next generation of BlueCore is testament to that. The first two BlueCore3 products have been designed to implement the full v1.2 feature set and set the very highest performance standards available." Janson continued, "BlueCore3-Multimedia is a good example of where the market is heading. It enables new applications such as Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones, bringing more functionality and usability to consumers and increased flexibility to OEMs and designers. BlueCore 3- ROM raises performance while shrinking power, size and cost to move Bluetooth functionality to within reach of consumer "value" devices for the first time."

CSR's existing BlueCore silicon is already integrated into a number of major international companies including Microsoft Corp, NEC, Panasonic, Toshiba, Samsung, Sony, HPQ, IBM, Fujitsu, LG, ALPS, TDK, 3Com, Mitsumi, Siemens, Motorola and Audi. The next generation is set to build upon this list, as BlueCore3 builds upon CSR's reputation for providing competitively priced yet reliable Bluetooth solutions.

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