Bluetooth chip developer CSR Plc expects revenue from its new WiFi designs next year and, by the end of 2007, expects to have working versions of combined Bluetooth/WiFi and Bluetooth/UWB chips.
The Cambridge, UK-based company, formerly known as Cambridge Silicon Radio, claims 60% share of product designs and 50% in chips shipped in the Bluetooth world, a performance which underscores its financial results.
The company announced second-quarter net profit that has doubled from the same period last year, at $30.8m, on revenue that rose 92% to $182.4m. For the first six months, meanwhile, net profit rose 116% to $49.7m on revenue that was up 97% at $317.3m.
That was all Bluetooth, said Glenn Collinson, executive VP and co-founder of the London Stock Exchange-listed company, a situation it expects to continue for the remainder of this calendar year.
However, 2007 will see the first revenue from CSR’s UniFi wireless LAN silicon.
We have modules in production at two major manufacturers, ALP from Japan and APM from Taiwan, as well as development work with one of the big handset manufacturers, he began. CSR also expects to start deriving revenue from its combined Bluetooth and FM radio chip for mobile phones next year, he went on.
Beyond that, there are plans to combine Bluetooth with ultra-wideband (UWB) technology on a single chip, now that the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has defined that it will work with the WiMedia Alliance’s spec for the technology, a decision announced in March.
UWB technology is the next generation of WPAN beyond Bluetooth. Whereas Bluetooth works in relatively narrowband links of up to 3Mbps, UWB is designed to deliver data rates of up to 480Mbps, which should make transmitting data between say a smart phone and a desktop PC faster and more convenient.
However, Collinson went on, UWB is also very power hungry, so the ideal scenario will be to have Bluetooth embedded on, say, a phone and permanently on, hunting for so-called companion devices such as PCs.
Once it finds one and is informed that it has a UWB radio, it can switch to UWB for the duration of a file transfer, then go back to Bluetooth, he explained.
The Bluetooth SIG has defined UWB integration as a feature for the next full release of the technology, i.e. v3.0, which it expects to have fully defined by the second half of 2007, at which point we’ll have the first working chips, with mass market operations in 2008, said Collinson. In the same timeframe, CSR also wants to deliver dual-mode Bluetooth and WiFi chips, he went on.