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Headsets: Broadcom Enhances Mobile Device Security

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August 09, 2011

Headsets: Broadcom Enhances Mobile Device Security

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

Ultra low power (ULP) RF specialist Nordic Semiconductor ASA has completed successful wireless communication tests between a prototype design for a small, low-cost Bluetooth low energy proximity fob and Broadcom’s (News - Alert) BCM4330.

According to Broadcom, an innovator in semiconductor solutions for wired and wireless communications, the BCM4330 is the industry’s first combo chip solution certified to the Bluetooth 4.0 standard.

This fob, stated the partners, shows the interoperability between Bluetooth low energy chips and Bluetooth v4.0 devices.

Manufacturers that adhere to the Bluetooth v4.0 specification can ensure that devices from different providers such as Broadcom and Nordic are able to communicate seamlessly.

Also, the Bluetooth v4.0 Proximity Profile enables seamless communication between the fob and next generation host devices like laptops and mobile phones.

The Broadcom BCM20702 is relevant for laptops and the BCM4330 is important for the mobile phones.

Explaining the rationale to design the fob, the companies note that it can easily prevent a device such as a laptop being accessed in the owner’s absence. This fob is based on a Nordic µBlue nRF8001 single chip Bluetooth low energy solution scheduled to be ready for volume production from early third quarter of 2011.

“This demonstration of seamless communication between Nordic’s µBlue Bluetooth low energy technology and Broadcom’s BCM4330/BCM20702 Bluetooth v4.0 solutions provides end customers with the lowest power peripheral/host solution available today,” said Svenn-Tore Larsen, Nordic’s CEO. “The proximity fob application is an inexpensive solution to the problem of mobile device security and perfectly demonstrates how Bluetooth low energy can be incorporated into compact, coin-cell powered devices to extend the Bluetooth ‘ecosystem’."

“Demand for Bluetooth low energy continues to grow as the technology is integrated into the increasing number of consumer electronics devices,” said Craig Ochikubo, vice president & general manager, Broadcom’s Wireless Personal Area Networking line of business. “By incorporating Bluetooth v4.0 into all of our combo chips moving forward, Broadcom is working to enable a world where the millions of Bluetooth devices being shipped daily can communicate with sensors that can be placed throughout the home, workplace, and even on the human body. This will not only simplify connectivity for consumers, but will also help drive new innovative implementations into new areas including health, fitness, and home entertainment, among others.”

Read a related article at TMCnet “Wireless Backhaul - Broadcom Announces New Chip for Mobile Backhaul Market.”

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Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Juliana Kenny

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