Cirrus puts Bluetooth in audio devices

Chip company will build Bluetooth into future versions of its Maverick processor, easing integration of the wireless networking standard into consumer electronics

Cirrus Logic, which has as large share of the market for digital audio players and other portable consumer electronics, says it will begin building Bluetooth into its popular Maverick embedded processor.

The chip company said on Tuesday it will license Bluetooth wireless technology from Silicon Wave, and will begin developing a version of Maverick with an integrated Bluetooth baseband and radio interface. The processor will both handle the Bluetooth software and power the portable device; no additional baseband processor will be required, making it relatively cheap to give devices Bluetooth functionality.

Manufacturers using the Maverick chip will only need to add a single-chip radio modem from Silicon Wave to add Bluetooth to electronics devices like PDAs, Internet TVs and set-top boxes, eBooks and Internet audio players. Cirrus claims that Maverick chips are used in 70 percent of portable Internet audio players.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology designed to link different consumer gadgets to PCs, peripherals and one another. It has been the focus of widespread hype -- driven by its backers, companies such as Ericsson and Nokia -- but has been slower than many had hoped in arriving on the market.

Maverick chips run a variety of operating systems, including embedded Linux, Windows CE, EPOC and Palm OS.

Soon all your digital devices could be talking to one another, without wires. Find out the latest in ZDNet UK's Bluetooth News Section.

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