BlueStack and Interface Express Play Key Role at Purple Labs

Cambridge Consultants’ Bluetooth protocol stack and profile library, BlueStack and Interface Express, are playing a key role in Purple Labs’ design work on Grundig’s fast-growing cellphone range. With the launch of two new Grundig designs, the E660 and G500i, Purple Labs has now used the software on four Grundig handsets, ranging from a low-cost model to state-of-the-art multimedia designs.

The handset design consultancy Purple Labs chose the software for its ease of portability, and ability to run on processors with limited processing resources, as the target embedded systems in question range widely in performance, and employ either a proprietary real-time multitasking operating system or Linux.

“A key element of Purple Labs’ service is rapid and right-first-time turnaround of designs, which is supported by a library of proven mobile phone design features,” says Dennis O’Donovan, Managing Director of Purple Labs. “The ease of integration of BlueStack and Interface Express allows us to deliver custom implementations of Bluetooth to clients and the ability to offer new Bluetooth functions such as streaming stereo.”

“Bluetooth-related functionality has undoubtedly become an important driver in mobile phone markets,” adds Steve Pearce, software development manager at Cambridge Consultants. “Developers need to be able to act fast to meet the evolving demand for mobile phone functionality, and Interface Express and BlueStack provide a versatile platform to support OEMs and ODMs operating in this dynamic market.”

The profiles and protocol stack – Interface Express and BlueStack – are optimised for deeply-embedded applications with limited hardware resources. The software offers a highly efficient and simple-to-apply platform for embedding Bluetooth at minimal cost, an approach that has resulted in major success – with implementations on around half of today’s qualified Bluetooth designs.

Interaction between profiles and the host application is reduced through an optimised API design. For example, a single API call registers a profile, providing a multitude of settings such as security, device visibility and service discovery records. Such features minimise the need to understand Bluetooth protocol specifications in detail, and can substantially speed product development. The software also features a compact and efficient memory management subsystem, giving developers complete control over how much system RAM is used by the Bluetooth firmware.

The load on the host’s processing resources is also minimised by ‘zero copy’ data transmission and reception functionality, which ensures that data is not copied unnecessarily between RAM locations. This attention to detail helps make it easy to add Bluetooth to existing designs, and to expand the capabilities of the Bluetooth system with minimal impact on the host processor.

Interface Express and BlueStack have been engineered for portability, and will run on virtually any platform and operating system. Among the processors that the software has already been ported to are ARM, Calypso, HC6811, MIPS, XAP and V850. The list of operating system implementations includes Windows, WinCE, QNX, Linux, Nucleus Plus and Bare-board. The software also comes with its own real-time scheduler, making it easy to use without an operating system – providing significant savings for cost-sensitive products.

The library of application profiles available to OEMs is extensive and includes: A2DP, BIP, BPP, CTP, DUN, FAX, FTP, HCRP, ICP, HFP, HID, HSP, LAN, OPP, PAN, PBAP, SAP, SPP and SYNC. This wide choice includes many key utilities for realising emerging wireless products for markets outside of the core mobile phone and headset Bluetooth applications, such as HFP and SAP (Hands free and SIM access) for automotive applications, and CTP (cordless telephony) for home applications.

In addition to providing software tools for developers employing Bluetooth as a peripheral to an embedded system, Cambridge Consultants offers a powerful tool called xIDE for Interface Express for developing hostless, single-chip applications. This provides a development environment for the XAP microcontroller integrated in CSR’s market-leading Bluetooth device family, BlueCore.

Cambridge Consultants Ltd, Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB4 0DW, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1223 420024; Fax: +44 (0)1223 423373

Cambridge Consultants Inc., 451 D Street, Boston MA 02210, USA. Tel: +1 617 532 4700; Fax: +1 617 737 9889

About Cambridge
Consultants. For over 40 years Cambridge Consultants has enabled its clients to turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. It develops breakthrough products, creates and licenses intellectual property, and provides business consultancy in technology critical issues for clients worldwide. With a team of over 200 engineers, scientists and consultants, in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), it is able to offer solutions across a diverse range of industries including healthcare, industrial and consumer products, automotive, transport, energy and wireless communications.

About Purple Labs
Purple Labs is a design company founded in 2001 and based in the south of France. It is part of Vitelcom Mobile Technology group, the Spanish mobile phone manufacturer that recently licensed the exclusive rights to Grundig mobile brand. The company offers fully integrated solutions for handset designs. Its comprehensive solutions (from entry level to smartphone) allow both network operators and phone manufacturers to quickly address market demands and segment their offer. Purple Labs expertise includes definition, design, development and validation of products (hardware, software and integration). In addition, it covers complete user interface customisation and manufacturing support. Working with pre-defined but modular platforms, Purple Labs enables its customers to deliver cost-effective and state-of-the-art mobile handsets within an optimised lead time.