Radio start-up designs Bluetooth ICs

Radio start-up designs Bluetooth ICs
Alex Mayhew-Smith
A Cambridge high-tech start-up has been created to exploit the emerging Bluetooth wireless standard by designing short range radio ICs.
Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) has been spun out of Cambridge Consultants with $10m backing from venture capitalist firms 3i, Amadeus Capital and Gilde IT Fund. It will design and bring to market single-chip radios for Bluetooth, allowing short-range wireless communication between devices such as mobile phones, computers and PDAs.
“We will bring out two products by the end of this year and go into volume production next year,” said James Collier, co-founder and technical director of CSR. The firm, which currently has ten people, plans to double in size by the year end, taking on mostly engineers. More engineers will then follow, said Collier.
CSR will use Cambridge Consultants’ XAP processor core at the centre of its CMOS design. Manufacturing will be outsourced to a manufacturing facility in Europe – not the UK – and in the Far East.
Collier said that CSR hopes to be working with Ericsson – the originator of Bluetooth – soon and it could beat off US competitors because it will be the first to use standard CMOS processes for radio ICs. There are no plans to license CSR’s products, added Collier.

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