SUNNYVALE, Calif. Philips Semiconductors and Ericsson Mobile Communications have signed a cooperative agreement to develop and produce Bluetooth wireless interface chips sets.
Philips Semiconductors will use a Bluetooth core developed by Ericsson in combination with Philips' analog and RF expertise to create system-on-chip solutions for standard and customized products. The companies said they have agreed to pool their know-how and resources to develop further cores.
The agreement permits both Ericsson and Philips Semiconductors to independently develop Bluetooth system-level solutions based on the Ericsson core for their respective customers.
The agreement further aligns Philips with microprocessor core developer ARM Ltd. (Cambridge, England), which is already a partner with Ericsson on Bluetooth through a previous agreement. Philips Semiconduc tors is already a licensee of ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor cores, which is the controller for Ericsson's Bluetooth solution.
"Philips is pleased to be working with one of the preeminent Bluetooth players on strengthening the Ericsson Bluetooth core," said Peter Baumgartner, vice president and general manager of international marketing and sales in the communications market segment at Philips Semiconductors. "With complete solutions available today and higher integration chip sets expected for delivery early in 2000, manufacturers and software houses designing-in Bluetooth will experience a big step forward towards interoperability."
Orjan Johansson, director and general manager of Ericsson's Bluetooth product unit, said, "As the largest European semiconductor manufacturer, Philips Semiconductors' use of the Ericsson Bluetooth core will help to promote product interoperability, a critical element in achieving market growth and success for Bluetooth applications. Philips Semiconductors also brings va luable expertise in RF and ASIC as well as providing expertise in creating products, which makes it a logical partner for electronic product companies including Ericsson Mobile Communications."
The market for Bluetooth-compliant products is expected to reach $1.3 billion by 2002, according to market research firm Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale Arizona), by which time over 126 million Bluetooth-enabled products such as cell phones, notebook PCs, digital cameras and other handheld devices are expected to have reached the market.
According to Philips Semiconductors, the RF technology it originally developed for DECT (the digital enhanced cordless telephone standard) meets the low cost, low component count requirements of Bluetooth applications, while its RF power amplifier technology is capable of boosting the Bluetooth wireless range from 10 to 100 meters for large office and outdoor applications.