Bluetooth developers get new tools

Extended Systems promises to bring Bluetooth to market more quickly

Software developer Extended Systems has released the latest version of its software development kit (SDK) for Bluetooth, vowing to accelerate the radio technology's implementation in mobile phones, PCs, handheld computers and other consumer electronics.

Version 1.2.1 of XTNDAccess Blue SDK is significant because it is based on the recently-issued 1.1 specification of the Bluetooth platform, which is said to solve problems with compatibility and other issues with the first specification.

SDKs such as Extended Systems' are crucial because they make it easier for developers to create the software that powers devices.

"The product enhancements we've made to XTNDAccess Blue SDK will improve our ability to reach more developers and manufacturers in the embedded marketplace, accelerating Bluetooth implementation in cell phones, PCs and other consumer electronics devices, where these chips will be used," said Extended Systems Universal Mobile Connectivity Business Unit manager Don Baumgartner, in a statement.

The new SDK also adds support for the Bluemoon radio from Germany's Infineon, Extended Systems said. The kit already supports chips from Ericsson, Silicon Wave, Cambridge Silicon Radio and Texas Instruments.

Extended Systems was one of the earliest to get on the Bluetooth bandwagon, and is an associate member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). The company was recently acquired by handheld maker Palm Computing, giving it a special interest in putting Bluetooth in Palm PDAs.

Bluetooth, which lets handheld devices connect wirelessly to one another and to PCs, has taken longer than many expected in getting to market, and has faced compatibility and interference problems. Industry observers say usable Bluetooth consumer devices could be widely available by this Christmas.

Soon all your digital devices could be talking to one another, without wires. Find out how with the Bluetooth special

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