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Broadcom, Foxlink cut Bluetooth mice price

Posted: 12 Jan 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? human interface device? wireless?

Broadcom Corp. and Foxlink have developed a new wireless mouse design is based on its Bluetooth HID (human interface device) technology. The mouse will reduce the cost of wireless mice and many Bluetooth peripherals.

The new Foxlink mouse design is based on the Broadcom BCM2042 HID SoC solution, which integrates Bluetooth and most of the major components needed for mouse and keyboard devices, resulting in a low BOM cost for these end devices. At these new price points, PC makers will be able to competitively ship Bluetooth mouse products standard with netbooks and notebooks.

New mobile computing products, such as netbooks and notebooks, are increasingly characterized by shrinking form factors to accommodate consumers' growing desire for portability. Consequently, external user interface devices, such as mice and keyboards, are becoming more important to allow comfortable use of these smaller products.

Wireless mice based on the Bluetooth standard offer significant advantages for these applications, eliminating inconvenient wires and taking advantage of the Bluetooth connectivity already present in many new notebook and netbook products.

According to analyst firm ABI Research, the market for notebooks shipping with Bluetooth will exceed 266 million units by 2013.

The new mouse design from Foxlink (with support from industrial design house Ashcraft), based on Broadcom technology, allows OEMs to assemble a Bluetooth mouse for about half the cost of existing designs, putting them in a position to offer branded wireless devices as standard accessories with their netbook products.

The design also includes Broadcom's Easy Connect software, which simplifies the pairing process and provides Bluetooth users with one of the industry's easiest one-click pairing and setup processes.

The second generation Broadcom BCM2042 Bluetooth keyboard and mouse SoC solution enables a significant increase in battery life and cost savings for Bluetooth wireless keyboards and mice, and is a practical option for an expanded range of PC users. It provides direct interface to a keyboard key scan matrix, optical mouse logic and an on-board boost regulator to operate a mouse LED. Manufacturers only need to add an external crystal and a few passive components to produce a complete product. It also integrates Broadcom's unique ultralow-power mode that allows the chip to consume only 10mA of current, representing the lowest power consumption in the industry for this class of chips, while still performing immediate 'wake up' when prompted. This, with the BCM2042, a wireless mouse can typically operate for up to 12 months powered by just two AA batteries when coupled with next generation sensor technology.

The solution also integrates a baseband processor and 2.4GHz radio and includes built-in firmware compliant with the Bluetooth HID profile, providing overall Bluetooth system performance that far exceeds industry requirements.

James Lee, president, Foxlink, said "We continue to optimize our design and manufacturing processes to help bring down costs for innovative, high quality peripherals and HID devices. Broadcom Bluetooth technology provides significant advantages in terms of reliability, BOM costs, and battery life, paving the way for broader adoption of Bluetooth for innovative peripherals."

Meanwhile, Tom Ramsthaler, director of marketing, wireless personal area networking, Broadcom noted, "As notebook and netbook computers get smaller and the attach rates of Bluetooth grow in these devices, consumers will increasingly benefit from the convenience of wireless peripherals such as mice and keyboards. This new wireless mouse design from Foxlink, Ashcraft and Broadcom helps significantly lower the cost of the Bluetooth mouse to compete with 2.4GHz RF mice that require additional hardware in the form of a USB dongle. PC OEMs can now deliver these benefits to their customers as a standard accessory for their new consumer products."

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