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Startup debuts wireless USB, Bluetooth chip

Posted: 05 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? wireless USB? processor? WiMedia? Artimi?

Startup Artimi Inc. has unveiled a WiMedia-compliant dual-mode wireless USB and Bluetooth chip.

Including both a MAC and programmable applications processor, Artimi's A-150 chip is intended to help OEMs add WiMedia-based wireless USB and Bluetooth 3.0 communications capabilities to devices.

The dual-mode chip provides up to 480Mbps wireless communications to peripherals, adding just 60mW of power consumption to handheld devices. For older peripherals, thumb-sized USB devices with a A-150 inside can be plugged into the existing USB port to turn it into a wireless peripheral.

The MAC and applications processor are supported by software development tools to enable OEMs to add wireless communications to their devices. Even the driver software, normally run on a device, can be handled by the A-150 using its on-chip applications processor.

Artimi said it has created a reference design for digital camera makers by licensing the Zoran Coach camera-on-a-chip. It has also validated the A-150 as interoperable with Intel's Peripheral Development Kit.

The A-150 is available today in sample quantities and will enter volume production by the end of 2007. Initial unit cost is $15, but the company predicts the price could drop to $5 by 2009 when it expects 200 million units to be shipped by Artimi and the other suppliers, including Wisair Inc., Alereon Inc., Tzero Technologies and WiQuest Communications Inc.

- R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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