CSR (LSE: CSR) announced that its BlueCore4-ROM Bluetooth silicon features in Ford’s in-car communications and entertainment system called SYNC. As well as offering hands free operation of personal media players (PMPs), CSR’s technology allows SYNC users full hands free operation of Bluetooth enabled mobile phones, to make calls and access music. Ford’s SYNC will be fully integrated into twelve Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models, including the 2008 Focus, Taurus X and Explorer. By the end of next year it will be available, or standard, in nearly every Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicle.
Ford’s SYNC is a fully integrated communications system that can host nearly any PMP, including the Apple iPod, Microsoft Zune, PlaysForSure players and most USB storage devices. The SYNC uses CSR’s technology to act as a hands free car kit for mobile phone calls; it can automatically access names and numbers on a mobile phone’s SIM-based address book into the vehicle using the Bluetooth protocol stack software in conjunction with the firmware running on BlueCore4 silicon.
“The proportion of cars produced with factory fitted Bluetooth devices is forecast to more than treble during the next five years” stated Alex Green, Research Director at IMS Research. “Including the aftermarket, in excess of 50 million Bluetooth-enabled products are projected to be sold into the automotive sector in 2010. With its BlueCore range and relationships with companies such as Ford, CSR is well placed to take advantage of this rapidly growing market.”
CSR’s Bluetooth technology is AEC-Q100 qualified and is tested to withstand the difficult conditions of the automotive environment. Ford’s SYNC utilises CSR’s BlueCore4-ROM Plug-n-Go, a single-chip radio and baseband IC for Bluetooth systems which supports enhanced data rates (EDR) of up to 3Mbps. With the on-chip CSR Bluetooth firmware, BlueCore4-ROM Plug-n-Go provides a fully compliant Bluetooth system for data and voice communications. The device incorporates auto-calibration and built-in self-test (BIST) routines to simplify development, type approval and production test. All hardware and device firmware is fully compliant with the Bluetooth v2.0 and EDR specification, including eSCO (enhanced SCO, for retransmission of dropped voice packets).
Rafik Jallad, Vice President of the Automotive Business Unit at CSR, commented, “Legislation restricting the hand held use of mobile phones whilst driving is becoming increasingly commonplace, and using Bluetooth to enable hands free mobile phone operation is now well established as an alternative.” Jallad continued, “On top of that, the market for PMPs is growing rapidly and accessing your PMP music is becoming a must have feature in car multi-media systems. These two crucial factors are underlying the massive interest we are seeing from forward thinking car manufacturers like Ford.”
CSR is the leading global provider of personal wireless technology and its product portfolio covers Bluetooth, GPS, FM receivers and Wi-Fi (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.