Wireless Systems Design

Bluetooth Begins Offering Consumer Value

Bluetooth, which has been hailed as everything from the industry savior to a dead end, is now making big plans. To enable new consumer applications, it is slashing power, size, and cost. In accordance with this trend, Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) has launched its third-generation single-chip silicon. BlueCore3 is the first complete implementation of the Bluetooth v1.2 standard, which works to improve Bluetooth's coexistence with other 2.4-GHz systems.

The first two products in the BlueCore3 range demonstrate the two ends of the Bluetooth market. For enhanced audio devices, BlueCore3-Multimedia is the first Bluetooth device to offer a user- programmable DSP. It will enable consumer applications like Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones. For low-cost, high-volume applications, the highly integrated BlueCore3-ROM offers a compact size and competitive price.

Compared to previous generations, the memory on the BlueCore3-ROM device uses 18% less current. New algorithms on BlueCore allow the page-scan interval of Bluetooth to be adapted to that of mobile phones. This capability promises to significantly increase the battery life of Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.

BlueCore3-Multimedia contains an open-platform DSP co-processor that especially suits enhanced audio applications. The solution includes a 16-b stereo audio codec with a dual ADC and DAC for stereo audio. With integrated amplifiers for driving microphone and speakers, BlueCore3-Multimedia requires minimal external components. BlueCore3 also provides a basis for advanced cordless-telephony applications by implementing v1.2's eSCO facility. SCO is the Synchronous and Connection Oriented physical link that transports voice across a Bluetooth link. Extended SCO (eSCO) channels are error-checking voice channels. They allow polled retransmissions. Raw data can be sent over SCO and data rates may be negotiated. The current data rates for high quality-of-service connections are thus improved.

The ROM solution is now available in a 4- ×-4-mm CSP as well as BGA and RF Plug and Go packages. The Plug & Go package integrates matching circuitry so that an antenna can be directly connected to the chip. BlueCore3-Multimedia is available in an LFBGA package.

Cambridge Silicon Radio
Cambridge Science Park, Milton Rd., Cambridge CB4 0WH, UK; +44 (0)1223 692000, FAX: +44 (0)1223 692001, www.csr.com.

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