National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) will demonstrate Bluetooth(TM) wireless technology at the COMDEX/Fall 2000 information technology conference in Las Vegas, November 13-17. The demonstration will use the world's first USB dongle to meet the official Bluetooth qualification standards for Radio and Baseband technology based on National's USB reference design, derived from Digianswer Corporation's qualified Bluetooth node design. It will also incorporate a Bluetooth qualified Windows 2000 protocol stack and Windows CE protocol stack from BSQUARE (Nasdaq: BSQR).
National's demonstration at COMDEX will use Bluetooth point-to-multipoint wireless technology to wirelessly link three WebPAD(TM) personal access devices to the Internet. The WebPAD concept, pioneered by National two years ago, provides wireless access to the Internet through a handheld device with a flat-panel display. Dongles are small connectors used to adapt networking cables to computers and other devices.
Bluetooth wireless technology is a specification that describes how electronic systems such as computers, cellular telephones, fax machines, printers and a variety of other devices can be connected without wires. Bluetooth wireless technology uses low-power, short-range, two-way radio transceivers to interconnect systems and allow them to exchange information, even through physical obstacles, using a single common design standard.
"Companies that have `qualified' Bluetooth products can bring their wireless systems to market with high confidence that they will interoperate with other Bluetooth products entering the market," said James Benefer, technical marketing manager in National's Wireless Group. "By using National's reference design, or by purchasing it as a "brandable" dongle/daughterboard from NSM Technology, early adopters can also get products to market more quickly," he said.
Bluetooth wireless technology qualification involves meeting conformance tests covering radio performance, lower layer protocols and interoperability. All Bluetooth qualified products must be approved and listed by a Bluetooth Qualification Body.
As featured at Comdex, National's first generation Bluetooth wireless solution includes a reference design using the LMX3162 radio chip, the LMX5001 link controller and USBN9603 USB controller chip, along with baseband firmware and the Bluetooth wireless dongle and daughterboard built by NSM Technology, Ltd.
The reference design is compliant with Bluetooth wireless technology specification v1.0B and USB specification v1.1. It provides better than -82dBm receiver sensitivity, Class 1 (+20dBm nominal) transmit with power control, point-to-point and multipoint piconet support and a data rate of up to 723kbps. It also offers data encryption support, up to 7 simultaneous active data links, and up to 3 voice channels.
To help customers rapidly implement their own systems, National's reference design kit also includes schematics, documentation, bill of materials, Bluetooth technology v1.0B-compliant firmware with USB HCI drivers, gerber files, USB dongle demo, LMX3162 and LMX5001 samples, and Bluetooth technology v1.0 test results. Turnkey dongle solutions are available from NSM Technology, and Bluetooth software stacks are available from BSQUARE, Digianswer and others.
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