LONDON STMicroelectronics and Parthus Technologies plc (Dublin, Ireland) have worked together to develop a radio frequency transceiver chip for use with Bluetooth communications basebands.
The co-developed radio chip is based on a low intermediate frequency superheterodyne architecture, but is unusual in that it will make use of STMicroelectronics' proprietary BiCMOS6 silicon-germanium process technology and is subject to a licensing deal.
"Working with Parthus has enabled ST to accelerate our time-to-market," said Marie-Hélène Sibille, general manager of ST's Wireless Communication Division. "In essence, the ST/Parthus radio is optimized for highly demanding applications that require longer transmit/receive distances, but with low power consumption and low bit error rates."
The radio requires an external amplifier for Class 1 Bluetooth operations.
"We are delighted to be extending our long-standing partnership with ST i nto the Bluetooth arena, one of the most exciting wireless technologies to emerge in the last decade," said Kevin Fielding, president of Parthus.
"Exploiting ST's silicon germanium technology has enabled us to create the highest performing Bluetooth radio on the market," said Fielding.
However, the use of STMicroelectronics' proprietary silicon-germanium process means that any subsequent licensees of the Bluetooth RF core may find themselves compelled to go to STMicroelectronics for manufacturing.