Native development tools provide opportunities to develop more hostless, single-chip, solutions with features such as sophisticated connectivity
May 25, 2005 -- Cambridge Consultants has released a software development toolset that extends the application potential of the leading single-chip platform for Bluetooth applications, CSR's BlueCore family of ICs. The new tools allow users to develop application software to run natively on the XAP RISC microcontroller embedded in all BlueCore devices. This frees up a significant amount of computing power, providing developers with even more flexibility to implement hostless, Bluetooth enabled products, based on a single low-cost device.
Up to now, this development option has only been available directly from CSR's application support service, or through its licensed design partner Cambridge Consultants. For all other applications, BlueCore comes with a virtual machine environment - which provides a robust and protected environment for general-purpose development.
Cambridge Consultants' new tool suite - xIDE for Interface Express - gives users unrestricted access to the full native power of BlueCore's XAP microcontroller core. This opens up significant additional computational bandwidth that may be used to run more complex software - such as application programs with many Bluetooth Profiles.
"BlueCore's virtual machine has served the first waves of relatively simple Bluetooth applications well, allowing developers to bring single-chip products such as headsets to market very easily. It's undoubtedly been a major factor in successfully introducing many OEMs to wireless technology and 'deeply embedded' systems, and in the success of the Bluetooth standard", says Cambridge Consultants' Tim Fowler. "These new development tools recognise the growing familiarity of such OEMs with embedded design, and the rapidly evolving applications potential of the wireless standard. Bluetooth has recently been augmented with faster data rates for instance - which BlueCore is the first to support - and with this release we are helping CSR to provide more sophisticated development options for its clients to exploit such opportunities".
"Bluetooth is now finding its way into many more complex applications", adds CSR's Simon Finch, VP Strategic Marketing. "This is leading to a demand for products with much broader wireless connectivity, as well as opening up markets for new types of products. Cambridge Consultants' tools add a valuable addition to the development possibilities for BlueCore".
xIDE for Interface Express provides a complete software development kit (SDK) for developing standalone BlueCore applications - with BlueCore running both a full Bluetooth protocol stack and application software (rather than being controlled by a host processor). It also includes a large library of qualified Bluetooth Profiles - the software that defines how Bluetooth works in specific applications. These tools are provided within an integrated development environment (IDE) that simplifies software projects through a highly-graphical software project management environment and user interface.
The library of application profiles available to OEMs is extensive and includes many popular ones such as A2DP, BIP, CTP, HFP, OPP, SAP and SPP, which are important for realising emerging wireless products for markets outside of the core mobile phone and headset Bluetooth applications. Examples include HFP and SAP (hands free and SIM access) for automotive applications, CTP (cordless telephony) for home applications, and A2DP (advanced audio distribution) for streaming stereo audio over a Bluetooth link.
About Cambridge Consultants:
Cambridge Consultants has for over 40 years enabled its clients to turn business opportunities into commercial successes, whether launching first-to-market products, entering new markets or expanding existing markets through the introduction of new technologies. With a team of over 200 engineers, scientists and consultants in offices in Cambridge (UK) and Boston (USA), it is able to offer solutions across a diverse range of industries including healthcare, industrial and consumer products, automotive, transport, energy and wireless communications.
CSR plc is the leading global provider of Bluetooth technology and has developed expertise in other single-chip wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller.
CSR is now producing its fourth generation BlueCore devices. BlueCore4 supports the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) standard which was ratified at the end of 2004. BlueCore4 remains the only EDR silicon to be shipping in volume today. In November 2004 CSR launched UniFi, the first single chip 802.11a/b/g embedded solution specifically targeting the mobile phone and consumer electronics markets.
BlueCore features in over 47 per cent of all Bluetooth devices shipped and over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with industry leaders including Nokia, Dell, Panasonic, Sharp, Motorola, IBM, Apple, NEC, Toshiba, RIM and Sony using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products.
In March 2005, CSR acquired Clarity Technologies Inc., for its Clear Voice Capture (CVC) technology that enhances the audio performance of any voice-based product or system. Applications for CVC include wireless headsets, handsets and automotive hands free systems.
CSR has its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Sweden and both Texas and Detroit in the USA. More information can be found at www.csr.com and the partner web site www.btdesigner.com. More information about Bluetooth technology can be found on the SIG web site at www.bluetooth.com.