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CSR aims to be the Primark of VoIP

Cheap as chips
Written by Jo Best, Contributor

Cheap as chips

UK chip designer Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) has launched its bid to be the king of cheap and cheerful VoIP home phones.

The company has released a reference design for a VoIP residential handset. The phone, designed for voice-over-wireless LAN, can be made with a bill of materials under $20 - which CSR claims is around half the cost of its nearest competitor.

The reference design will be with original device manufacturers (ODMs) before the end of the year, with the phones themselves expected in the second quarter of 2007.

Simon Finch, VP of the wi-fi strategic business unit, told silicon.com: "It's primarily the sort of cheap and cheerful device you buy at Tesco." CSR is hoping it will appeal to ISPs and like, who would then bundle the device with their VoIP packages.

The company is already working on an enterprise equivalent which it believes should be ready before the end of next year. The device is likely to be higher end with a colour screen, CSR said.

Price, however, remains the focus of the home phone. Finch said: "We see this going the same way as our Bluetooth headset markets going. The bill of materials for headsets has come crashing down in the last few years."

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