Home & Office

Bluetooth gets audio-quality boost

Cambridge Silicon Radio has announced the BlueCore6 chipset, claiming it will help avoid audio connections cutting out
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

The audio quality of Bluetooth will take a leap forward with the latest generation of the technology, a major chipset manufacturer has claimed.

Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), a British firm with more than half the market share in Bluetooth laptops, headsets and handsets has announced its latest chipset, BlueCore6.

Using a technology called "AuriStream", combined with improved radio performance, CSR claims that BlueCore6 will pave the way for smaller, cheaper headsets that offer voice connections without the audio cut-outs that plague many current Bluetooth devices.

CSR said that BlueCore6 will cut handset power consumption by 40 percent and headset power consumption by 20 percent. The company predicts that products using BlueCore6 silicon should be available to buy by Christmas next year.

However, despite the fact that BlueCore6 will make use of the latest version of Bluetooth — v2.1 + EDR — it will not take advantage of the near-field communications (NFC) functionality enabled in that specification.

According to John Halksworth, CSR's head of handset connectivity product management, this is because Bluetooth already handles the pairing of handsets and headsets — the main reason for NFC's inclusion in v2.1 + EDR — sufficiently well. "We don't believe that using another technology to solve a problem solved by simple pairing is the right way to go," Halksworth told ZDNet.co.uk on Wednesday.

The next major update to Bluetooth — version 3 — is due to appear next year. It will incorporate both NFC and ultrawideband (UWB), the high-bandwidth, short-range connectivity technology only recently legalised for use in Europe.

Editorial standards