CSR Enables Bluetooth Human Interface Devices During Boot Up

8/12/2003 - CSR (Cambridge Silicon Radio) announced that it has added HID Proxy capability to the features a CSR BlueCore based USB dongle can support, allowing Bluetooth HIDs (Human Interface Devices, such as mice and keyboards) to be used when a PC is booting - before the main OS has loaded.

Current USB Bluetooth dongles are generic devices that rely on software running under the main OS to provide the full range of Bluetooth functions - including connections to mice and keyboards. The BIOS that allows the main OS to load does not contain similar software and cannot therefore drive a generic Bluetooth dongle to form mouse and keyboard connections. However, a keyboard must still be used to configure the BIOS, choose the OS on multiple-boot machines, or enter OS "safe" modes.

The new CSR HID Proxy firmware places the dongle in emulation mode when initially powered on. While in this mode, all the required software to allow Bluetooth keyboard and mouse connections runs on-chip, and the dongle is presented to the PC as a non-Bluetooth HID. The HID Proxy-enabled dongle presents an emulated USB keyboard and mouse interface to the PC, which can be recognised by the BIOS.

Once the main OS loads, a special command switches the dongle from HID Proxy to a Bluetooth HCI mode so that the many different Bluetooth functions can be provided via the normal software such as printing to Bluetooth printers and synchronising to Bluetooth enabled PDAs and phones. The HID Proxy dongle is suitable for use with all BIOSs that recognise USB keyboards and mice, and all OSs that support Bluetooth, including versions of Microsoft Windows from 95 to XP and Apple OS.X. It is available through www.csr.com.

The HID Proxy dongle will allow consumers the full flexibility and usability of Bluetooth-enabled keyboards and mice. It removes the inconvenience of having to connect a wired keyboard and mouse should they want to access the BIOS setup or run in an OS "safe" mode.

CSR’s market-leading BlueCore technology gives full support to any Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, and the HID Proxy dongle does not need to be configured to work with a particular manufacturers keyboard or mouse. This allows manufacturers the flexibility to create a Bluetooth dongle as either a stand-alone device or in conjunction with PC peripherals.

Kristine Overlaur, Technical Marketing Manager, CSR, North America, commented, “The continued advancement of CSR’s Bluetooth solutions has always been rooted in a strong foundation of development. If there is the potential for improvement, as we have seen with the HID Proxy solution, then we will always make efforts to ensure that the enhancement comes to fruition.” Overlaur continued, “Our position as Bluetooth leaders means that we have the resources in terms of both market influence and design experience to make both big and small advancements that will benefit OEMs and consumers. The users experience is the vital component of any Bluetooth application, and CSR’s HID Proxy firmware enables fuller and enhanced Bluetooth functionality.”

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