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CSR unveils next generation, consumer wireless audio platform


Feature-rich, single-chip CSR8600 platform promises exciting new possibilities for high fidelity wireless audio in consumer products

Cambridge, UK and San Jose, CA, USA - Building upon its leadership in wireless audio platforms, CSR plc (LSE: CSR) today announced the CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform, a next-generation architecture CSR will employ for a new family of highly integrated system-on-chip devices offering superior high-fidelity audio quality, the latest Bluetooth wireless connectivity technologies and a sophisticated, highly efficient energy management system, all in a compact form factor with greatly reduced BOM count. The CSR8600 platform is designed to enable consumer electronics manufacturers to more easily, quickly and cost-effectively bring to market highly differentiated home entertainment and wearable audio products featuring unmatched sound quality and connectivity, longer battery life and smaller, lighter designs for a more compelling user experience.

The CSR8600 consumer audio platform provides the foundation for a family of highly integrated single-chip products CSR will introduce to meet the needs of a broad and exciting range of connected consumer audio products. From next-generation TVs, connected home entertainment systems and wired and wireless speakers to tablets, PCs and other mobile connectivity applications, the CSR8600 platform will be able to deliver a rich audio experience along with advanced Bluetooth and Bluetooth low energy connectivity. The CSR8600’s tiny size, energy efficiency and other features make it ideal for use in a variety of compact portable and wearable products that offer longer battery life, including smart remote controllers, wireless headsets and headphones and portable media players equipped with wireless heart-rate monitor, foot-pod and other sensors.

“The CSR8600 family of products will enable us to extend our current leadership position in the consumer wireless audio market, where audio performance, form factor and a rich, consumer-centric feature set are among the key success factors,” said Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President of CSR’s Audio and Consumer Business Unit. “With the evolution of the connected home and the explosive growth in connected personal entertainment and information systems, there is a tremendous need for a highly integrated, wireless consumer audio solution like the CSR8600 platform, and no one else offers this with the level of flexibility and capability that CSR does in a single-chip solution.”

“Bluetooth technology has been hugely successful, having largely replaced wired headsets in a number of markets, and now we believe the outlook for high-quality Bluetooth stereo is positive as it moves into new growth areas such as portable media players, home entertainment systems, wireless speakers, tablet and mobile device accessories, wearable audio and other connected lifestyle products,” said Alex West, director of connectivity, IMS Research. “With flash memory, touch sensors and many other peripheral functions and components all integrated into a compact, efficient, high-performance System-on-a-Chip platform like the CSR8600, manufacturers will be able to create a variety of innovative products that provide consumers with a more compelling user experience.”

The CSR8600 platform introduces a more powerful audio processing engine with a flexible memory architecture for internal flash memory or ROM, as well as external serial flash, providing a platform that supports the development and deployment of a variety of high-quality audio algorithms for enhanced audio quality. These include CSR’s aptX™ high-fidelity, low-latency audio technology for outstanding stereo audio over Bluetooth connectivity to wireless speakers or headphones while ensuring accurate lip-sync, as well as CSR’s Clear Voice Capture (CVC®) technology for acoustic echo and noise cancellation, enabling the CSR8600 platform to provide high-quality speakerphone functionality in televisions, tablets and PCs and other consumer products.

The CSR8600 platform incorporates CSR’s industry leading Bluetooth technologies, including support for Bluetooth 3.0 to enable wireless streaming of high-fidelity stereo audio in home entertainment systems, TVs and other connected home applications. The CSR8600 also supports Bluetooth low energy, unlocking the potential of this new standard, and can be used in conjunction with CSR’s family of µEnergy™ Bluetooth low energy solutions to enable ultra-low-power connectivity and simple data transfer for wireless accessories, including 3D glasses, remote controllers and other applications previously limited by the power consumption, size constraints and complexity of other wireless standards.

Power consumption in the CSR8600 platform is significantly reduced through a combination of its ultra-low-power DSP architecture, new power supply subsystem, an efficient memory system, a reduction in process node geometry and by tailoring device firmware and software during critical modes of operation. The platform integrates multiple high-frequency switching power supplies that are very power efficient, low drop-out regulators and a new battery charger architecture with instant-on and fast charging capabilities, as well as support for USB charging.

With leading-edge IC packaging that is nearly half the size of previous-generation devices and a highly integrated design that greatly reduces overall BOM count and PCB size, the CSR8600 platform enables OEMs to create consumer electronics products with more compact and aesthetically pleasing designs. The CSR8600 platform includes a cornucopia of integrated peripheral and I/O components, including an internal balun for direct antenna connection, embedded flash memory or ROM, a high-performance audio codec, support for GPIO, UART, USB, SPI and I2C digital I/O, digital and analog microphone inputs, LED and LCD drivers and capacitive touch sensors.

At the software application level, the CSR8600 platform is backward compatible with CSR’s popular BlueCore5-Multimedia™ platform, enabling easy migration of a broad range of CSR eXtension partner solutions, and facilitating the rapid time to market of a broad portfolio of CE products.

The first product(s) based on the CSR8600 platform is already being sampled to lead customers and will be in production by mid 2011. Please contact your CSR representative for further information on specific CSR products based on the CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform.
About CSR

CSR plc is a leading provider of multifunction connectivity and location platforms. CSR’s technology portfolio includes Bluetooth, GPS, FM, Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11), UWB, NFC and other technologies to enable silicon platforms that incorporate fully integrated radio, baseband and microcontroller elements. CSR’s Connectivity Centre is designed to enhance the user experience with mainstream mobile devices by intelligent integration of multiple wireless connectivity and location-awareness technologies. CSR’s Location Platforms are complemented by wireless connectivity and multimedia capabilities for high-volume mobile consumer devices and commercial applications.

CSR’s technology has been adopted by market leaders into a wide range of mobile consumer devices such as mobile phones, automobile navigation and telematics systems, portable navigation devices (PNDs), wireless headsets, mobile computers, mobile internet devices, GPS recreational devices, digital cameras, mobile gaming, plus a wide range of personal and commercial tracking applications.
Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains certain statements (including statements concerning plans and objectives of management for future operations or performance, or assumptions related thereto) that are ‘forward looking statements’ within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 in relation to CSR’s CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform, and other future events and their potential effects on CSR. These forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as ’promises,’ ‘made possible by,’ ‘enabling,’ ‘will,’ ’facilitating,’ ’the outlook for,’ and other similar expressions regarding the performance characteristics of CSR’s connectivity, audio and location platforms for mobile devices, and related products. Any future release of CSR8600 wireless consumer audio platform, related products or modifications to such products’ capability, functionality or features are subject to ongoing evaluation by CSR, and may or may not be implemented and should not be considered firm commitments by CSR and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. Such forward-looking statements represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of CSR, and are based upon numerous assumptions regarding CSR’s business strategies and the environment in which CSR will operate and therefore involve a number of known and unknown risks, contingencies, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are beyond the control of CSR. Each forward looking statement speaks only as of the date hereof. CSR does not undertake to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward looking statements contained herein, otherwise than required by law.


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