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CSR launches the industry’s lowest cost and smallest combination chip integrating GPS, Bluetooth and FM transceiver


Forming the heart of the Connectivity Centre

Cambridge, UK.– CSR (LSE: CSR) today launched BlueCore BC7830, the world’s smallest GPS combination device designed for mobile handsets. Measuring a mere 11mm2 in silicon size, CSR’s BC7830 includes GPS, Bluetooth v2.1+EDR, FM transmit and receive technologies and support for Bluetooth low energy all on a single chip. This represents the next step in CSR’s Connectivity Centre and allows manufacturers to add GPS functionality for less than a dollar.

This unprecedented level of integration is made possible by CSR’s ‘Smart Integration’ strategy, where the chip is specifically architected to support multiple radio technologies. In addition to this innovative architectural approach, CSR consistently provides the smallest silicon radio designs for any given process geometry node. The result is breakthrough silicon devices that continually innovate in terms of functionality, size and cost. As a comparison, the nearest competing device integrating Bluetooth, FM and GPS is over 50% larger in silicon area terms.

CSR’s Connectivity Centre strategy exploits the high attach rates of its Bluetooth technology, integrating additional value added wireless technologies into its subsystem. CSR’s pioneering technique allows different wireless technologies to share resources and be aware of what the other on-chip elements are doing to ensure the best possible coexistence between the radios.

BlueCore BC7830’s unique design enables handset designers to add GPS functionality to their products for less than a dollar. This figure includes incremental silicon cost as well as the external GPS components required (GPS antenna, associated filtering and clocking components). BlueCore BC7830 will enable GPS to be added to many mid-range feature phone products where previously the cost was prohibitive. Such low cost, mass market GPS will, in turn, enable a host of Location Based Services (LBS), especially those based on the Push to Fix usage model. For example, geotagging photos/movie clips or using Google Maps whilst lost are highly desirable GPS feature phone applications – with CSR’s low cost GPS solution they can now be available on a whole new segment of handsets. LBS are predicted to generate huge revenue streams for operators, with a global annual revenue total forecast to reach $13.3 billion by 2013 (ABI Research.)

“If we analyse the connectivity growth in handsets, we see the attach rates of Bluetooth, FM and GPS as some of the highest in the mobile handset market. By integrating these three features together in the industry’s smallest device, CSR allows manufacturers to include additional functionality in their devices without sacrificing cost or board space,” said Matthew Phillips, Senior Vice President, of CSR’s Handset Business Unit. He added, “CSR’s Connectivity Centre is continuing to enable designers to drastically increase the features of their devices at impressively lower price points.”

“Building radio chips on a CMOS process is one of the toughest technical challenges in the semiconductor industry,” said Raj Gawera, Vice President Marketing, Handset Business Unit, CSR. "Due to the analogue circuitry, shrinking the size of those chips needs to go beyond the benefits that Moore’s law can provide. The only way to achieve radical size reduction, and therefore cost reduction, is to have deep innovation at an architectural level – this is what we have achieved through our Smart Integration strategy.” He continued, “In contrast, our competitors have followed a dumb integration approach, basically an IP cut and paste methodology with little or no architectural innovation. The result is bloated devices with poor coexistence. Integrating multiple radios is different from regular silicon integration – you can’t just put multiple radios on the same piece of silicon and expect them to work concurrently and without degradation – they need to be architected specifically to work together. That’s where CSR excels because of its heritage of innovation.”

BlueCore BC7830 also fully supports the forthcoming Bluetooth low energy standard. Because of the small incremental impact in terms of silicon area, and negligible cost of adding Bluetooth low energy to existing Bluetooth chips, the technology is expected to have the fastest uptake of any wireless technology to date. Bluetooth low energy was successfully demonstrated in a handset by CSR in July last year, and analysts predict the technology will be shipped in over 428 million devices by 2010. (ABI)


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