CSR's BlueCore Bluetooth Powers Portable Media Player Reference Design

CSR plc announced that its BlueCore Bluetooth technology has been selected by austriamicrosystems for its new mobile entertainment design, aimed at the latest MP3 and portable media players (PMP). CSR’s BlueCore technology enables the PMP reference design to stream music to two or more Bluetooth headsets simultaneously, enabling users to share music wirelessly. The austriamicrosystems design also benefits from CSR’s native MP3 support which offers better streaming audio quality and reduces power consumption. The CSR and austriamicrosystems PMP reference design is now available worldwide.

The austriamicrosystems design uses the company’s AS3525/27 MP3 player chips for enhanced MP3 players and PMP devices that benefit from Bluetooth to simplify the sharing of music. By adopting CSR’s BlueCore4-ROM in the designs, austriamicrosystems offers OEMs a design that takes advantage of CSR’s market-leading expertise in wireless technologies as well as low power and small form factor wireless hardware.

Power is obviously a prime concern to any mobile product manufacturer and austriamicrosystems’ versatile and highly integrated ARM9-based SoCs AS3525 and AS3527 deliver on this requirement, allowing the implementation of an MP3 player with only 50mW total power consumption while providing over 200MIPS of processing power. The device 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 headphone and line outputs. Its system firmware is Microsoft PlaysForSure V2.2 and Windows Vista compliant with support of MP3, WMA, AAC and OGG audio, JPEG, GIF and BMP photos as well as MPEG4 and Microsoft WMV Mobile Video contents. The AS3525 is a fully integrated design for audio and video playback, aiding designers with a reduced time to market. It also includes innovative lighting management technologies for the generation of colourful effects synchronized with playback of music in order to increase the listener experience.

CSR’s BlueCore technology is used in the reference design to enable users to stream MP3 files directly to MP3 compatible Bluetooth stereo headphones. As BlueCore supports native MP3 coding, the MP3 stream is sent directly to another device without needing to transcode the files from MP3 to SBC (the default coding in Bluetooth), reducing power consumption and improving music quality. BlueCore offers industry leading interoperability with other Bluetooth devices; PMPs designed using austriamicrosystems’ reference designs will be compatible with the widest range of Bluetooth devices. CSR’s Bluecore Host Software (BCHS) stack runs directly on the austriamicrosystems application processor allowing for future upgrades, to include FM radio, Unifi-1 WiFi drivers and other wireless technology, to be added quickly and easily.

Roberto Simmarano, Senior Director of Marketing BU Communications at austriamicrosystems commented, “austriamicrosystems’ reference design enables device manufacturers to easily develop high performance mobile entertainment products as well as incorporate essential features like Bluetooth connectivity. Our partnership with CSR has enabled us to deliver the first fully integrated reference design for MP3 players that will allow users to stream music to two headsets via Bluetooth and native MP3 file support. Our customers expect the very best technologies with minimal time-to-market constraints and this is why we continue to work with the leading provider of Bluetooth technology.”

Tracy Hopkins, Vice President of CSR’s Consumer Business Unit commented, “The desire for integrated Bluetooth connectivity has increased as device manufacturers look to include more functionality into their products The ability to simultaneously stream music to two or more headsets is extremely desirable and is unique to this joint design. austriamicrosystems’ Mobile Entertainment reference design with integrated BlueCore technology offers OEMs a cost-effective solution for quickly and easily integrating Bluetooth connectivity into existing and new products.”

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.