6/17/2003 - A new complete hardware and software solution enabling consumers to simultaneously use BluetoothTM and 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN) was announced by Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN). Using this solution, manufacturers of cellular handsets, smartphones, PDAs and laptops can overcome the coexistence problems inherent to close range 802.11b/g and Bluetooth operations because they share the 2.4 GHz band.
TI's new Bluetooth/802.11 coexistence package works with the company's 802.11 and Bluetooth product offerings to provide flexible support for the multiple standards within each wireless networking technology. Unlike current solutions designed exclusively for laptop applications, TI's coexistence package focuses on meeting the needs of portable device manufacturers. It offers low power, a small footprint for the complete Bluetooth/802.11 device and has no antennae isolation requirement which enables the co-location of both solutions in portable devices.
As opposed to current data-only implementations, TI's new coexistence technology supports the extremely critical scenario of a Bluetooth voice call coexisting with WLAN data transmissions without impacting the voice quality. Through smart algorithms, the platform provides peer-to-peer MAC-layer coordination and prioritizes the Bluetooth voice traffic. This maintains the voice and data quality by dynamically allocating bandwidth between Bluetooth and WLAN based on the traffic patterns in each network.
"Bluetooth and 802.11 coexistence has been a concern of the wireless networking industry since the late 1990s," said Allen Nogee, principal analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "By enabling voice and data services and the co-location of Bluetooth and 802.11, TI can drive the wireless industry to converge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into cell phones and PDAs."
TI's Bluetooth / 802.11 coexistence package complements the most complete wireless technology portfolio in the industry. TI is dedicated to making seamless wireless convergence and true mobility of voice and data throughout any wireless network a reality for manufacturers and consumers. For example, consumers using a PDA based on TI's tri-wireless WANDA concept design can talk on the GSM, GPRS or CDMA network through their Bluetooth headset and download emails through WLAN at the same time without degrading the quality of the voice or data traffic.
"By leveraging TI's coexistence platform to simultaneously support voice and data with low power and a small footprint, convergence of Bluetooth and WLAN in cell phones, Smartphones and PDAs is now possible," said Marc Cetto, general manager of TI's Wireless Networking Business Unit. "Wireless convergence has become a major industry initiative to deliver wireless connectivity any where, any time over any network to consumers. From our tri-wireless WANDA concept design to our new Bluetooth/802.11 coexistence platform, TI is committed to making wireless one."
With Bluetooth and 802.11 increasing in popularity for manufacturers of mobile devices such as cellular handsets and PDAs, low power and small footprint are required. TI's low power solutions for both wireless networking technologies provide consumers with long-lasting wireless connectivity and maximum battery-life for their portable devices. Additionally, unlike some solutions that put impractical isolation requirements on the two radios, TI's coexistence platform has no antennae isolation requirement. This is critical for mobile devices such as PDAs, Smartphones and handsets where co-location of the radios is unavoidable.
"TI has demonstrated true wireless leadership, with state of the art silicon and algorithms," said Ari Rauch, general manager of TI's Short Distance Wireless Business Unit. "The Bluetooth/WLAN coexistence package is an important additional part of our complete solutions ready to go into reference designs for manufacturers."
All of TI's WLAN and Bluetooth solutions can be used within the coexistence package to provide support for any network combination such as 802.11b with Bluetooth 1.1 or 802.11g with Bluetooth 1.2. TIs offerings for the coexistence package include:
The Bluetooth/802.11 coexistence package will be offered as part of TI's WLAN embedded station development kit (EStaDK). TI customers expect to begin shipping products utilizing the coexistence package in 3Q 2003. Future versions of the coexistence platform will also provide support for voice over WLAN applications.
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