CSR benefits from Bluetooth future

The UK chipmaker doubled its profits last year and is setting its sights on a single-chip Ultrawideband product

UK chipmaker CSR announced on Tuesday it enjoyed a bumper 2005, and was dominating the Bluetooth market.

The company, formerly Cambridge Silicon Radio, achieved pre-tax profits of £65m, on turnover of £277m. This was a 92 percent increase in profits compared to 2004. However CSR's shares dropped by 14 percent after the chipmaker predicted it would achieve sales of up to £77m in the first quarter of 2006, which is less than previous estimates from the company.

CSR's products are used in many Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones, and during 2005 it was chosen by Kyocera, LG, Nokia, Samsung and Research in Motion, among others.

Speaking on Tuesday CSR's chief executive, John Hodgson, said that the market for Bluetooth devices had more than doubled during 2005.

"Looking ahead, we see the Bluetooth market continuing to expand. The 'attach rate' in mobile phones is increasing both as the demand for hands free calling grows and as mobile phones increasingly move into services such as music streaming and gaming. Bluetooth is also being adopted in the wider electronic goods markets and in new application sectors such as automotive and consumer," said Hodgson.

Although CSR has built its business on Bluetooth, the company is keen to succeed in the Wi-Fi and Ultrawideband markets.

Last week, CSR announced that it now supports the WiMedia Alliance form of Ultrawideband (UWB) wireless and will move Bluetooth profiles over to the new standard.

This means that existing and tested Bluetooth functions, such as audio, object exchange and discovery, will work with CSR's forthcoming UWB chips, adding very high speed wireless networking to a familiar software environment. The company plans to build a single chip UWB device, which should be available for testing in the second half of 2007.


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