Electronic Design

Next-Generation Bluetooth Emphasizes Entertainment Applications

The BlueCore5 facilitates multimedia options on Bluetooth-equipped devices like cell phones. Developed by Cambridge Silicon Radio, this chip features a 2.4-GHz radio, the official Bluetooth Special Interest Group standard baseband circuits, and an embedded controller. It includes version 2.1 of Bluetooth for an enhanced data rate (EDR) of 3 Mbits/s.

At the heart of CSR’s BlueMedia enhancements lies a new, faster DSP that doubles the previous model’s audio processing power. Applications include stereo wireless headphones, analog and USB dongles, high-end mono headsets, automotive dashboards, and wireless speakers. Despite this extra muscle, BlueCore5 consumes less power than competing solutions, according to the company. It can stream stereo music over Bluetooth at less than 60 mW.

Also included on the chip, Bluetooth Plus enhances the advanced stereo audio functions and the BlueCore5 Multimedia version. Standard features include an on-chip 1.5-V regulator, a 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, and an 8-bit digital-to-analog converter. An internal charger fits lithium as well as nickel-metal-hydride batteries. I/O interfaces include USB v1.1, UART, I2C, and serial audio interfaces that support PCM, I2S, and SPDIF.

The cost-optimized BlueCore5-ROM offers 4 Mbits of on-chip ROM. The souped-up BlueCore5-Multimedia boasts an MIPS64 DSP, an upgraded 156-kbyte SRAM, and the MP3+, AAC, WMA3, and ATRAC audio codecs. An internal analog codec provides up to 90-db signal-to-noise ratio. Also, the chip embeds the ClearVoiceCapture technology to enable second-generation on-chip echo cancellation and noise suppression. It supports voice recognition, text to speech synthesis, and 3D positional surroundsound as well.

Available in early 2006, the BlueCore5-FM will include a complete on-chip FM radio with a Radio Data System (RDS) demodulator. This will bring FM radio to cell phones and other converged devices. Meanwhile, keep your eyes open for Bluetooth with an Ultra-Wideband physical interface, which is in the works.

The BlueCore5’s package is a standard 144-pin, 8- by 8-mm BGA. Samples of the ROM and Multimedia versions will be available later in the fourth quarter, with FM samples in early 2006. Prices are expected to range from $3 to $5 in quantity.

Cambridge Silicon Radio

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