Single-Chip Bluetooth and FM Radio Device will allow FM radio to become standard on Bluetooth-enabled phones
By Mike Hanlon
February 13, 2006
February 14, 2006 Broadcom used the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona to today announce a new device that integrates a complete Bluetooth radio and baseband along with a high-performance FM stereo radio receiver into a single chip. Makers of multimedia cell phones and digital media players enabled with Bluetooth can now conveniently add FM radio functionality to their products with significant power, size and cost savings versus other solutions, offering a more complete stereo audio experience to their customers. New generations of mobile phone handsets are integrating increasingly diverse entertainment and media functionality, from digital photography to MP3 music playback. Bluetooth, the short-range wireless technology, has been incorporated widely into these devices as a convenient way to enhance the user experience, providing cord-free headset and stereo headphone capabilities. FM radio is one of the multimedia features currently gaining momentum with manufacturers and carriers with market researcher iSuppli projecting that 332 million handsets will include FM radio by 2009. The Broadcom BCM2048 solution enables these manufacturers to easily add FM radio and wireless stereo capabilities with a single-chip, providing cost savings of up to 40% and requiring only about one third the board space of existing solutions based on discrete components.
"Our new BCM2048 Bluetooth chip removes many of the barriers to adding FM radio into a mobile phone, an important development especially for Europe where FM is rapidly becoming a popular feature in mobile handsets" said Scott Bibaud, General Manager of Broadcom's Bluetooth products. "With this chip, we've combined two of the key technologies that mobile device makers are most interested in integrating into their products, enabling our partners to maintain leadership in cutting-edge features in a cost effective and size efficient manner."
Based on Broadcom's proven BCM2045 Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) Bluetooth chip, the BCM2048 supports all of the key features of Version 2.0 of the Bluetooth specification, with capability to support the forthcoming Version 2.1 as well. The Bluetooth radio offers superior receive sensitivity and employs proprietary adaptive radio techniques designed to provide an optimized user experience with greater range and less interference from other devices, an essential requirement for wireless audio applications such as stereo headsets.
The BCM20248 includes all the FM features one would look for in an advanced FM radio product, including high receiver sensitivity, station information enhancements through intelligent Radio Data Service (RDS) and Radio Broadcast Data Service (RBDS) processing, and superior tuning and station search functions.
The integration of both Bluetooth and FM radio technologies in a single chip provides the smallest footprint in the industry for these combined functions, requiring significantly less board area for space-conscious mobile device developers. In addition to reduced board space, the BCM2048 also provides combined Bluetooth/FM functionality at lower power consumption rates than implementations that utilize discrete components. By integrating passive electronic components that competitive solutions require, the Broadcom chip also reduces cost. The new chip provides these advantages and also enables simultaneous operation of the Bluetooth and FM radios without any interference between them, a feat enabled by Broadcom's expertise in mixed signal engineering and advanced interference mitigation techniques. Broadcom's Bluetooth solutions are specifically tailored to provide optimized multimedia experiences for mobile device users. With the broadest portfolio of Bluetooth software profiles and the richest offering of wireless audio enhancements, Broadcom has emerged as a leading enabler for mobile multimedia devices. The BCM2048 builds upon that expertise to enable yet another compelling audio feature at minimal cost and power impact for makers of mobile phones and portable media players.
The BCM2048 Bluetooth/FM combo chip is available and sampling to early access partners. Broadcom is demonstrating the chip at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week.