austriamicrosystems Adopts CSR BlueCore Bluetooth for Mobile Entertainment

CSR plc (LSE:CSR) and austriamicrosystems (SWX:AMS) announced that CSR’s BlueCore Bluetooth technology has been selected by austriamicrosystems for its new Mobile Entertainment platform. The AS3525 and AS3527 core devices of the platform are both high performance single-chip-systems targeting enhanced MP3 players with multimedia aimed at the OEM market. By adopting CSR’s BlueCore4-ROM in the designs, austriamicrosystems will be able to offer its customers a development platform that takes advantage of CSR’s market-leading expertise in wireless technologies as well as low-power and small form factor hardware.

austriamicrosystems’ versatile and highly integrated ARM9 SoC in the AS3525 and AS3527 delivers over 200MIPS of processing power and allows the implementation of an MP3 player with only 50mW total power consumption. It delivers video playback to LCD and OLED screens at up to 30 frames per second (fps) and up to QCIF+ resolution, while streaming crystal-clear audio via its independent Bluetooth headphone and line outputs. Its system firmware is Microsoft PlaysForSure V2.0 compliant and supports MP3, WMA, AAC and OGG audio, JPEG, GIF and BMP photos as well as MPEG4 and Microsoft WMV Mobile Video contents. The platform has been tested by the National Software Testing Lab (NSTL) to be interoperable with Windows Media Player 11 and with the new Windows Vista Operating System. It also includes innovative technologies of lighting management for the generation of colourful effects synchronized with playback of music in order to increase the listener experience.

The AS3525 and AS3527 reference design features CSR’s BlueCore4-ROM, single-chip radio and Bluetooth baseband IC. BlueCore4-ROM can deliver data rates up to 3 times faster than current v1.2 Bluetooth devices with overall lower power consumption. It is also designed to reduce the number of external components required in order to minimise the overall bill of materials (BOM). In addition, BlueCore4 technology incorporates auto-calibration and built-in self-test (BIST) routines to simplify development, type approval and production tests. Personal Media Players (PMPs) designed around austriamicrosystems’ reference designs will therefore be compatible with all other Bluetooth devices thanks to BlueCore4-ROM backward compatibility with existing Bluetooth v1.1 and v1.2 specifications.

austriamicrosystems has also ported CSR’s BlueCore Host Software (BCHS) onto its host ARM9 processor to run A2DP and AVRCP profiles. These profiles enable consumers to listen wirelessly to their music on Bluetooth stereo headphones and through Bluetooth enabled home media entertainment systems. BCHS provides a complete system software solution for embedded BlueCore applications. BCHS ensures that existing processing power already in the multimedia player can be utilised for Bluetooth, thus providing the most cost effective way to implement Bluetooth in today’s consumer products. BCHS also reduces Bluetooth power consumption by implementing all possible low power modes such as deep sleep mode. This allows the BlueCore silicon to effectively shut down the Bluetooth radio.

Roberto Simmarano, Senior Director Marketing Communications at austriamicrosystems commented, “austriamicrosystems’ reference platforms enable device manufacturers to easily develop high performance mobile entertainment products as well as incorporate essential features like Bluetooth connectivity. Our customers expect the very best technologies with minimal time-to-market constraints and this is why we decided to work with the leading provider of Bluetooth technology. austriamicrosystems’ partnership with CSR is invaluable to bringing our customers complete single-chip player solutions.”

Tracy Hopkins, VP, Consumer Strategic Business Unit at CSR commented, “As device manufacturers are looking to integrate more functionality into MP3 players and PMPs, the desire for integrated Bluetooth connectivity has increased. Consumers increasingly want to share music and the ability to stream the same audio track to two Bluetooth headsets from a single player is very desirable thus negating the need to share headphones. austriamicrosystems’ Mobile Entertainment reference designs with integrated BlueCore technology offers OEMs a cost-effective solution for quickly and easily integrating Bluetooth connectivity into existing and new product platforms.” Hopkins added, “CSR will continue to support its partners throughout the development process and work closely in order to help them achieve the very best product offerings and reference designs.”

Demonstrations of the austriamicrosystems’ Mobile Entertainment platform will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show 2007 in Las Vegas at the CSR meeting rooms Sands Expo number 68431 and at the austriamicrosystems suite in the Venetian Hotel.

About CSR
CSR is the leading global provider of personal wireless technology and its product portfolio covers Bluetooth, FM receivers and WiFi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions, based around its silicon platforms, that incorporate, fully integrated radio, baseband and microcontroller elements. CSR’s customers include industry leaders such as Apple, Dell, LG, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, TomTom and Toshiba. CSR has its headquarters and offices in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, France, Denmark, Sweden and both Dallas and Detroit in the USA.

About austriamicrosystems
austriamicrosystems is a leading designer and manufacturer of high performance analog ICs, combining more than 25 years of analog design capabilities and system know-how with its own state-of-the-art manufacturing and test facilities. austriamicrosystems leverages its expertise in low power and high accuracy to provide industry-leading customized and standard analog products. Operating worldwide with more than 1,000 employees, austriamicrosystems focuses on the areas of power management, sensors & sensor interfaces, portable audio and car access in its markets Communications, Industry & Medical and Automotive, complemented by its Full Service Foundry activities. austriamicrosystems is listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange in Zurich (ticker symbol: AMS).