Broadcom Corp. recently demonstrated a working implementation of its next generation Bluetooth that features alternative MAC and PHY (AMP) technology, which enables Bluetooth to support data rates of up to 24Mbps and a significant increase in range by using other wireless radio technologies, such as 802.11, as its transport medium.
Broadcom demonstrated Bluetooth AMP within its InConcert module and single-chip devices, featuring the BCM4325 combo chip and BCM2046 and BCM4312 discrete solutions. Designed to allow wireless devices to collaboratively co-exist within the same radio frequency, InConcert technology provides products enabled with Broadcom Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips the ability to intelligently share the 2.4GHz frequency range, synchronizing transmissions to maximize throughput and performance for both standards.
The Broadcom BCM4325 combines Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a FM transceiver into a single monolithic solution that provides the highest level of integration for mobile or handheld wireless systems. The Broadcom BCM2046 combines Bluetooth version 2.1 features, EDR technology and a Class 1 radio frequency (RF) transceiver in a single monolithic chip. The Broadcom BCM4312 is a low cost, highly integrated wireless LAN (WLAN) solution that integrates an 802.11 media access controller (MAC), baseband processor, and a dual-band radio (2.4GHz and 5GHz) onto a single silicon die.
The demonstration shows fast file transfers between two Broadcom AMP-enabled devices (i.e. PC to PC, PC to mobile phone, mobile phone to mobile phone), which in turn, highlights extended versatility for Bluetooth.
The first AMP technology target for Bluetooth is 802.11g wireless LAN-a radio technology that could increase Bluetooth transfer rates by up to 10x when compared to standard or enhanced data rate (EDR) Bluetooth. The ability to connect Bluetooth at data rates up to 24Mbps dramatically increases its applicability in file transfer and data synchronization between electronic devices.
Broadcom's AMP implementation is based on the current draft of the next Bluetooth specification (code named "Seattle") and the company expects its implementation will be compliant with the final specification when it achieves ratification-which is expected to occur in mid-2009. Although Broadcom's AMP demonstration represents the cutting-edge of Bluetooth technology, the solution utilizes proven Bluetooth profiles, applications and user interface elements, ensuring that the current implementation will face minimal hurdles in becoming a product that Broadcom's partners, and their customers, will feel comfortable using.