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Bluetooth and Wi-Fi creep into PMPs, digicams

Posted: 20 Mar 2007     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth  Wi-Fi  processor  MP3  MP4 

Vendors and solution providers at the 12th Annual International IC-China Conference & Exhibition (IIC-China) demonstrated their MP3s, MP4s and digital photo frames with a new function and certified sell-point—Bluetooth.

Excelpoint Systems showcased its updated Bluetooth MP3/MP4 developed based on a CSR chip. Excelpoint engineers said, "These MP3/MP4 players with Bluetooth will bring some new application models and new experience to consumers." For example, when a customer is listening to his MP3 player and an incoming call comes, he does not need to take out his cell phone to talk, instead, he can talk directly via the Bluetooth-based MP3 and caller ID can be displayed in the MP3 panel.

The engineers explained that the application demands MP3 to integrate two new functions: Bluetooth Advance Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Bluetooth HandProfile (HFP). The first one is a specification defined by Bluetooth SIG for transmitting stereo music via Bluetooth, while the second is a new specification targeted at handsfree phones. The two functions improve audio quality and connection reliability to allow two audio packages to be transferred at the same time.

austriamicrosystems demonstrated a Bluetooth MP3 reference design composed of its two MP3 processors—AS3525 and AS3527—combined with CSR's BlueCore4-ROM. It also integrated CSR's BlueCore Host software into its ARM9 processor to run new Bluetooth specifications such as A2DP and AVRCP profiles. This added function will allow consumers to support Bluetooth home media entertainment system via the Bluetooth stereo earphone.

Even in the emerging digital photo market, the same trend was observed. The latest innovation in the digital photo frame seen during IIC-China was the addition of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB on-the-go (OTG) functions. These features allow various ways to get photos. Through the Bluetooth interface, users can download photos from a camera without connecting to a PC. Customers will also be able to transfer pictures in PC to a digital photo frame via Wi-Fi, and get data from camera via USB OTG.

Besides adding wireless connection function, the resolution of digital photo frames also improved. A SigmaTel executive said the digital photo frame they demonstrated used the STDC7150 processor with a resolution up to 800 x 600. "Digital photo frame is growing in popularity because the price has been accepted by customers. For example, the price for 7inch digital photo frame in the United States has dropped down to about Rs.4,412 ($100). China market is starting to accept digital photo frame, however the current price is a little higher than that in the United States."

- Alice Sun
EE Times-China

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