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Bluetooth keyboards will get 10-year battery life with new chip, Broadcom promises

Consumers will no longer need to charge or change batteries, the chip maker said

Broadcom is working on a Bluetooth chipset that will give wireless keyboards a battery life of up to 10 years, the company said on Tuesday.

If they had a battery life of as long as 10 years, that Bluetooth-based accessories could potentially never need new batteries, the chip maker said. A set of two AA batteries would be enough to power a keyboard using the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip to connect with a computer for its entire lifetime, Broadcom said.

Besides keyboards, the component will also be used in computer mice, 3D active shutter glasses, remote controls and game controllers.

To simplify installation, the BCM20730 uses USB emulation and Broadcom's ZeroTouch configuration technology, which makes it possible to use accessories out of the box with no special pairing procedure, Broadcom said.

The chip maker didn't say when the first products will arrive, but the BCM20730 is in full production, and a so-called reference design to show vendors what a product using the chip could look like is being evaluated by peripheral makers worldwide, Broadcom said.

Bluetooth will continue to gain popularity in the coming years, helped by faster transfer speeds on one hand and lower power consumption on the other, according to market research company In-Stat, which expects that Bluetooth-enabled device shipments will exceed 2 billion in 2013.

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