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CSR toolkit designs sub-$10 MP3 players

Posted: 21 Nov 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? MP3 reference design? stereo codec? DSP?

Bluetooth chip pioneer CSR plc has started shipping a single-chip MP3 reference design platform with an electronic BOM (eBOM) of less than $10.

Dubbed the BlueCore Player, the design is based round CSR's BlueCore5 silicon that integrates a v2.0 Bluetooth radio, 16bit stereo codec and the 64MIPS Kalimba DSP coprocessor. The platform enables direct streaming of MP3 files to reduce power consumption.

As well as including full gerbers, software and circuit diagrams, the BlueCore Player example design includes all the hardware needed for an MP3 player in a space that is less than 45mm x 60mm. It supports the Bluetooth Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) to control stop and start playback and volume control, and the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) for high quality audio streaming.

Also included in the eBOM is an OLED color display, supporting both Asian and Arabic fonts, lithium battery with on-chip charger and mini USB charger connector which supports more than 14hrs of playback.

CSR stresses the design is aimed at the low end of the MP3 market, which, according to Karen Parnell, consumer marketing manager at CSR, is the most competitive segment of the business. "It is vital to help ODMs and OEMs differentiate in this sector and focus on time to market. BlueCore Player takes the whole RF design headache out of the equation for these design groups. It is already RF certified as shipped under Bluetooth SIG rules".

The BlueCore Player is also available with audio menu navigation to run through the tracks, artist names and playback modes without the need for a screen and thus reducing the BOM costs further. This function uses text-to-speech technology running in the DSP for easy pairing and menu navigation.

The device has interface support for 32Mbit of external flash memory for enhanced audio applications and different language fonts.

The roadmap for the BlueCore Player series suggests that next year, v2 will be offering several software upgrades, including FTP Bluetooth profile for music transfer, other audio codec support, including AAC, AAC+ and WMA as well as Clear Voice Capture capability and enhanced echo and noise cancellation.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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