CSR BlueCore7 Combines Bluetooth, Low Energy, eGPS, FM

CSR (LSE:CSR) announced the launch of its seventh generation BlueCore silicon. BlueCore7 is the world’s first device integrating Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, Bluetooth low energy, eGPS (enhanced Global Positioning System), and FM transmit and receive technologies on a single chip. CSR’s BlueCore7 significantly reduces the power, size, cost and complexity of adding multiple radios into a mobile phone and demonstrates the company’s continued expertise in embedded wireless technologies.

CSR BlueCore7 highly integrated wireless single chipCSR has integrated Bluetooth low energy, eGPS and FM Tx and Rx technologies into BlueCore7 alongside an enhanced Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR radio which delivers +10dBm Tx and –91 dBm Rx. These enhancements help BlueCore7 to extend the overall range and across-body performance to provide better audio quality (think handset on one side of the body and headset on diagonally opposing ear). BlueCore7 includes CSR’s proprietary AuriStream voice CODEC, which produces the quality of a fixed line call, when using a Bluetooth connection, and is capable of a 30% reduction in power consumption. Inbuilt speaker drivers also allow users to connect headphones directly to the device.

Bluetooth is the most successful short-range wireless technology in use today, with attach rates in handsets expected to reach 55-60% in 2008. By integrating more wireless technologies into its Bluetooth subsystem, CSR delivers a powerful connectivity centre that enables designers to increase functionality of their end products without impacting the size or the bill of materials (BOM). CSR’s wireless connectivity value centre within a handset is the ideal place to integrate new technologies including GPS and FM transmit. BlueCore7 is a low cost robust solution to allow designers to incorporate must-have functionality quickly and easily, allowing faster times to market.

In April, CSR gave the world’s first public demonstration of Bluetooth low energy technology. Bluetooth low energy (previously known as Ultra Low Power Bluetooth or Wibree) uses fewer frequencies to make connections while retaining the proven robustness of Bluetooth. This means BlueCore7 with Bluetooth low energy takes less time to connect than conventional Bluetooth and results in lower power consumption when connectable. Because of its small incremental impact in terms of silicon area, power requirements and the simplicity of the technology itself, Bluetooth low energy opens a whole new class of connectivity options for Bluetooth across a wide range of product segments whilst benefiting from the mass adoption of Bluetooth, the highly interoperable parent technology.

Demonstrated by CSR at this year’s Mobile World Congress, CSR’s eGPS technology is a revolutionary approach in making location based technologies a viable proposition for mobile handsets. By sharing resources with the Bluetooth radio and leveraging memory and processing already available on the host platform, CSR has reduced the cost and made significant power and performance improvements necessary for embedding GPS functionality into a mobile handset. Current GPS technologies only meet the basic needs of consumers and regulatory requirements. CSR’s eGPS provides users with faster and more accurate position information, on demand and in all environments – even deep indoors.

By integrating a transmit and receive FM radio with Bluetooth, handset designers can offer these features using less space, fewer components and of course at a lower cost. BlueCore7 allows the Bluetooth and FM radios to work without interference, either independently or together to allow users to stream FM radio from a handset to a pair of Bluetooth headphones. CSR’s FM receiver boasts -110dBm of sensitivity, securing high quality FM reception even in difficult environments. To overcome the challenges of using a handsets internal FM antenna the FM transmitter has a uniquely high maximum output power of +4.5dBm.

Matthew Phillips, Senior Vice President of CSR’s Mobile Handset Connectivity strategic business unit commented, “BlueCore7 is a truly intelligent new architecture that integrates more wireless technologies on a single chip than any other product on the market. Building upon our strengths in Bluetooth and our expertise in embedded wireless technologies, BlueCore7 delivers a robust and comprehensive solution that boasts the industry’s leading power and performance figures.” Phillips continued, “We have seen high demand from our customers for Bluetooth, GPS and FM functionality, coupled with an industry need to keep cost, size and power consumption of embedding such technologies to a minimum. CSR’s core focus is and always has been in embedded wireless connectivity and due to customer demand we have now developed a connectivity centre that reduces the complexity of integrating multiple radios into mobile phones and other consumer portable electronic devices.”

BlueCore7 is available in QFN and WLCSP packaging and will be in volume production from Q4 2008.

About CSR
CSR is the leading global provider of personal wireless technology and its product portfolio covers Bluetooth, GPS, FM 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.