On the eve of the 2001 Bluetooth Congress, Transilica announced that it has forged a deal worth more than $30 million with Memcorp, the company that produces the Memorex brand of consumer electronic goods. Under the terms of the agreement, Transilica will sell several million units of its ‘OneChip’ Bluetooth products to Memcorp through 2002.
Memcorp will integrate the Transilica OneChip solution into a variety of Memorex and OEM consumer products, focusing on audio, video and portable electronic applications. Shipments to Memcorp are slated to begin in the fourth quarter.
At the Bluetooth Congress itself, held this year in sunny Monte Carlo, a host of other vendors launched new Blueteeth offerings. Motorola added some new hardware and software offerings – an integrated Bluetooth module and updated software suite – to provide OEMs with a specification 1.1 qualified-system they can embed in their designs.
Motorola also added a Bluetooth mini-PCI form factor to its portfolio, allowing PC manufacturers to offer Bluetooth functionality as a pre-installed option. This is an evolution of the Motorola PCMCIA card introduced in 2000. The mini-PCI system itself is integrated inside the PC to use an embedded antenna and eliminates the need for an add-on card.
From Holland, Philips Semiconductors took the opportunity of the Congress to show off a Bluetooth babyboard demonstrator kit that it claims is the smallest of its kind on the market.
The babyboard has been developed in partnership with Philips Consumer Communications (PCC) and is targeted at customers who are developing their own Bluetooth enabled products and prototypes.
The babyboard is based on Philips Semiconductors’ PCF 87750 baseband controller (Blueberry) and UAA3558 radio chip. Blueberry is a second generation IC that provides an integrated one-chip baseband solution for Bluetooth wireless technology. No external codecs or flash memory are needed. Philips Semiconductors is now working on derivatives for dedicated data (including PCs, cellular, PDA) and voice applications (headset, loudspeaker).
Another key component on the babyboard is the UAA3558 BiCMOS IC, which is a single chip transceiver IC. It features a fully integrated receiver, from antenna filter output to the demodulated data output, an integrated VCO, a synthesiser to implement Bluetooth channel frequencies and a transmitter pre-amplifier to drive either the switch diode to an antenna or a power amplifier.
Just a few days earlier, Philips announced that it had licensed the Bluetooth Communications Software for Embedded Systems (BTE) from Widcomm to help build Bluetooth chipsets.
On the analysis front, Tektronix announced Version 2.1 software for its BPA100 Bluetooth Protocol Analyser. Version 2.1 is fully compliant with the latest Bluetooth V1.1 radio, baseband, and stack standards from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group SIG.
The new software integrates the Host Controller Interface (HCI) terminal into the protocol analyser itself. The HCI terminal delivers low-level commands that help designers proceed step by step through problem areas in protocol execution. Unlike other solutions that require a separate development kit to implement HCI terminal functions, the BPA100 is, with the advent of V2.1 software, a self-contained solution. In addition, the HCI terminal feature allows the creation of scripts, or macros, that combine groups of low-level commands to simplify (and thereby hasten) repetitive tasks.
In other late news from around the conference, Infineon disclosed that it has now started to sample its BlueMoon Single, a single chip that combines baseband DSP, radio functionality, memory and software that’s aimed at cellular phones and personal digital assistants. While for its part, 3Com Corporation and Hewlett-Packard announced that 3Com’s wireless Bluetooth solution will be embedded in HP Omnibook and HP Pavilion notebook PCs.