Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, announced a new platform that it will demonstrate at IBC2007 in Amsterdam, combining popular Broadcom(R) Bluetooth(R) wireless solutions with the company’s industry leading digital cable and satellite television set-top box (STB) technologies. Driving Bluetooth wireless into set-top boxes will significantly expand traditional STB functionality and make these systems compatible with the vast and growing universe of Bluetooth remote control, audio and handset devices.
Bluetooth technology, which has continued to make significant advancements in the areas of range, connectivity and ease of use, has established high recognition among consumers as an increasingly useful and convenient wireless networking technology. As a result, Bluetooth is transforming the user experience for a range of electronic devices, from cell phones to gaming consoles to wireless peripherals. With over 90 million set-top boxes sold worldwide every year, the addition of Bluetooth functionality in these devices will enable STB makers to offer unique and differentiated features in their products. Given Broadcom’s strong leading position in the STB market, the company is poised to become the vendor of choice for Bluetooth-enabled set-top box technology.
“Bluetooth makes sense as it solves the immediate need of providing home phone line connectivity, and allows audio and remote control use without the need for line-of-sight infrared (IR) technology,” said Jim Muth, Senior Product Line Manager of Broadcom’s Wireless Personal Area Networking line of business. “In addition, Bluetooth opens up a whole new world of innovative and exciting applications by enabling set-top boxes to have connectivity to the hundreds of millions of Bluetooth devices that are sold each year.”
There are some immediate benefits recognized by enabling Bluetooth technology into set-top boxes. The following includes a short list of benefits:
- Enables a cellular network to be used for ordering or recovering orders for pay per view or other services when a land line is not present or not conveniently located near a STB. This capability will be demonstrated at IBC2007.
- Allows channel changes with the entertainment cabinet door closed, eliminating the need for line-of-sight IR technology. This capability will also be demonstrated at IBC2007.
- Enables wireless headsets and wireless speakers.
- Enables more powerful remote controls such as:
- Whole house remotes with two-way services
- Sound, vibration and motion sensing controllers
- User-friendly remotes with displays
- Enables cell phone downloads of pictures for storage or display.
- Enables Bluetooth connections from STBs to landline phone jacks.
- Enables Bluetooth mouse and keyboard connections.
- Enables Bluetooth connections of cell phones, laptops and PDAs to STBs and provides synchronization of calendars, meetings, etc.
“Bluetooth has been very successful in mobile phones, PCs, and video game consoles, and it has solid potential in other consumer devices as well,” said Brian O’Rourke, Principal Analyst for In-Stat’s Enabling Technologies Group. “Broadcom’s strong position in both Bluetooth and set top box solutions make this market a potentially strong one for Bluetooth.”
Broadcom’s new Bluetooth and set-top box reference design, to be demonstrated at IBC2007, is based on the company’s high definition (HD) MPEG-4 reference platforms. It utilizes the very successful BCM740x series of HD MPEG-4 devices in conjunction with Broadcom’s BCM2046 Bluetooth solution. The BCM2046 is the industry’s first solution to combine Bluetooth 2.1 features, enhanced data rate (EDR) technology and a Class 1 radio frequency transceiver in a single, monolithic chip, featuring the most advanced Bluetooth features to provide superior short range wireless connectivity for a variety of applications. It is also the industry’s most highly integrated Bluetooth solution that can reduce external bill of materials cost by more than 80 percent.
The wide array of Bluetooth functionality and applications is enabled by Broadcom’s market leading Bluetooth software offering. Featuring the most complete set of profiles in the industry, Broadcom BTE software allows STB developers to offer a broader range of Bluetooth applications and more complete access to the substantial ecosystem of Bluetooth peripherals and devices available. Competing software solutions offer limited application support, making Broadcom’s Bluetooth offering the best choice to drive new interface innovation in the digital living room.
Broadcom’s Bluetooth Product Family
Broadcom offers the most complete family of Bluetooth silicon and software solutions for mobile phones, PCs, wireless headphones and headsets, peripherals, gaming and other applications. Broadcom’s Bluetooth solutions are widely recognized in the industry as the most widely deployed and feature rich solutions available. The world’s largest manufacturers of consumer electronics, mobile phones and personal computer products rely on Broadcom Bluetooth technology to provide their customers with a unique, intuitive and feature rich user experience increasingly free of wires and cables.
Broadcom Corporation is a major technology innovator and global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications. Broadcom products enable the delivery of voice, video, data and multimedia to and throughout the home, the office and the mobile environment. We provide the industry’s broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art, system-on-a-chip and software solutions to manufacturers of computing and networking equipment, digital entertainment and broadband access products, and mobile devices. These solutions support our core mission: Connecting everything(R).
Broadcom is one of the world’s largest fabless semiconductor companies, with 2006 revenue of $3.67 billion, and holds over 2,200 U.S. and 900 foreign patents, more than 6,600 additional pending patent applications, and one of the broadest intellectual property portfolios addressing both wired and wireless transmission of voice, video and data. Broadcom is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and has offices and research facilities in North America, Asia and Europe. Broadcom may be contacted at +1.949.926.5000.
Broadcom(R), the pulse logo, Connecting everything(R), and the Connecting everything logo are among the trademarks of Broadcom Corporation and/or its affiliates in the United States, certain other countries and/or the EU. Bluetooth(R) is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.