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Bluetooth definitely coming

Be assured — next-generation PCs will have it

British technology firm Cambridge Silicon Radio has announced the launch of its second-generation Bluetooth chip, BlueCore2, specially designed for desktop PCs.

Embedded directly on to a processor, the BlueCore2 is smaller and cheaper than its predecessor, BlueCore01, fabricated using a 0.18-micron manufacturing process as opposed to the original chip's 0.35-micron process.

The significance of creating a smaller, more integrated chip is that it generates less heat, which means the product runs cooler. Power consumption has also been reduced by around 50 percent.

"This smaller die size enables [the chip] to be offered in a more extensive range of packages," said Alan Woolhouse, spokesman at CSR.

"This is important for customers with small factor products, [such as] mobile phones, headsets and PDAs," Woolhouse said.

A huge array of technology companies around the world use BlueCore01 CRS chips, including Toshiba, Intel, NEC and Sony. These are incorporating the BlueCore2 into all-new Bluetooth products.

It seems that UK firms are also looking to move forward with Bluetooth, integrating the wireless technology from early in development.

Both Evesham and Hi-Grade, for example, said they weren't going to use CSR's chipset in desktops but confirmed they are 'developing second generation chips' for upcoming ranges.

"We will be using [Bluetooth built-in] in both our PC motherboards and portable devices. We are totally committed to Bluetooth and will shortly be introducing a USB Bluetooth solution allowing quick wireless networking between notebooks," said Demetre Cheras, marketing director at Hi-Grade Computers.

A PC with an on-board Bluetooth chip will be able to control up to seven slave devices.

Microsoft has also confirmed its commitment to creating Bluetooth products at the WinHEC conference in Seattle last April, which CRS hopes will increase demand for Bluetooth functions in PCs.

The products that incorporate BlueCore01 can be viewed at www.btdesigner.com.

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