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TI chip merges Bluetooth and FM radio

Mar 30, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 30 views

Texas Instruments (TI) has crammed a Bluetooth wireless transceiver plus an FM stereo receiver into a system-on-chip (SoC) that can stream FM radio programming directly from a handheld device to a Bluetooth-enabled headset. The BlueLink 6.0 SoC is supported by software that targets Linux handhelds, according to the company.

In addition to a Bluetooth transceiver and FM receiver, the SoC integrates an ARM7TDMI processor, ROM, RAM, and a number of peripheral interfaces, as illustrated in the following block diagram.

Bluelink 6.0 SoC block diagram
(Click image for larger view)

According to TI, combining Bluetooth and FM functions on the same silicon ensures optimal RF co-existence between the two functions, and provides significant power savings in the most commonly used modes of operation: page and inquiry scan. Designs based on the BlueLink 6.0 SoC can also take advantage of TI's Bluetooth/WLAN co-existence hardware and software, said to provide a “collaborative interface” that optimizes bandwidth and resource sharing.

The SoC's RDS (Radio Data Systems) functionality enables users to tune to radio stations immediately without spending time searching, TI says. Additionally, RDS enables interactive services that provide visual information on the song and artist currently playing on the radio and lets users “vote,” as well as purchase concert tickets and ring tones.

The BlueLink 6.0 SoC's software platform includes Bluetooth and FM Protocol Stacks, along with software that supports the company's OMAP processors and OMAP-Vox chipsets for GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA, and UMTS. In addition to Linux, the support software targets Symbian and Windows Mobile.


TI says it is currently sampling the BlueLink 6.0 SoC (also known as the BRF6350), in both module and space-saving WSP (wafer scale package) versions. Mobile devices incorporating the BlueLink 6.0 SoC are expected to ship by the end of this year. Pricing for the SoC was not disclosed.

According to TI, market data suggests that roughly 400 million FM-enabled mobile phones will ship by 2010. FM radio-equipped mobile phones based on Linux include Motorola's Rokr 2 and E680 music phones.

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