From the beginning, the success of Bluetooth has largely hinged upon the standard's ability to meet the right price-performance point. Although it took some time, the XBlue 1200 Core from IPextreme is one of a number of devices that plans to fulfill this requirement. This device comprises fully integrated Bluetooth baseband-controller hardware and link-manager software. It claims to lower overall power consumption by up to 50% while supporting the v1.2 Bluetooth specification. At the same time, the core promises to drive the total system cost for adding Bluetooth to under $2.50.
The XBlue 1200 Core is a complete, self-contained, Host Controller Interface (HCI) Bluetooth embedded solution. Because it supports multiple radios in silicon, designers no longer have to choose which Bluetooth radio to support at IP compile time. In addition, the XBlue Core reduces power consumption via an embedded 6811-compatible, 8-b microcontroller. By efficiently handling all real-time Bluetooth activity, this microcontroller reduces the load and power consumption of the host CPU. Its automatic power-management feature shuts down 99% of the logic within the baseband controller and microcontroller. When there is no Bluetooth activity, it places the radio into sleep mode.
The XBlue architecture makes the core well suited to high-volume, battery-operated consumer applications. This architecture boasts a low gate count, small memory footprint, and ease of integration. With its "drop-in" black-box architecture and support of industry-standard interfaces and application programming interfaces (APIs), the XBlue 1200 promises to enable fast time to market. The core connects to any host CPU via a standard plug-and-play UART interface. It also is compatible with any qualified Bluetooth high-level stack and application profiles. To simplify system-on-a-chip (SoC) integration, the XBlue 1200 Core includes a comprehensive verification environment with bus functional models and test suites.
By leveraging Mezoe's (www.mezoe.com) v1.2-qualified Bluetooth software, IPextreme plans to make this core part of a complete solution for embedded designers. This solution will consist of the XBlue 1200 Core, Mezoe's high-level Bluetooth stack, profiles, application examples, and IPextreme's Bluetooth Development Kit. The XBlue 1200 Core, Bluetooth Development Kit, and Mezoe Interface Express are available today from IPextreme. Please contact the company for pricing information on the XBlue 1200 Core and Mezoe Interface Express. The Bluetooth Development Kit is priced at $3000.IPextreme 300 Orchard City Dr., Suite 102, Campbell, CA 95008; (800) 619-0618, FAX: (408) 850-4902, www.ip-extreme.com.