CSR offers Bluetooth Smart developer training and supports the Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards 2013

Bluetooth and more recently Bluetooth Smart has enabled developers to create exciting new consumer products. With Android 4.3 and Blackberry 10 recently announcing native support for Bluetooth Smart the Bluetooth Smart ecosystem is now in place for developers to take full advantage of.

Given this news I’m expecting to see some exciting entries at this year’s Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards which celebrate the most innovative Bluetooth-powered products and applications. CSR is proud to be supporting the awards as a gold sponsor and I’d encourage developers to enter the awards as they will provide a great showcase for your work. I look forward to meeting the finalists at CES 2014 in January.

Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards

Alongside the awards the Bluetooth SIG is arranging Bluetooth developer training and ‘getting started sessions’ in multiple regions. My team will be present at these events providing hands on training and advice on how to develop Bluetooth Smart accessories. CSR offers a complete Bluetooth Smart developer toolkit with no additional fees for compilers and debuggers. With detailed example applications and a solution that is optimised for Bluetooth Smart performance we aim to get your innovations to market quickly.

We will be present to meet you, provide training and support at the following Bluetooth SIG developer training events which you can register for now:

-          28 August 2013: Shenzhen, China

-          4 September 2013: Taipei, Taiwan

-          3 October 2013: San Jose, CA, USA

If you haven’t tried the CSR Bluetooth Smart products it would be great to speak to you about how we can help. We look forward to meeting you there but if you have any questions about our solutions in the meantime please leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you.

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Want to create a Bluetooth Smart remote control in minutes? Meet CSR’s latest SDK

The CSR µEnergy® line-up of hardware and software products gives developers a complete environment to rapidly create new Bluetooth® Smart devices with a low initial investment.

 

CSR is dedicated to doing more for developers to make it easier for them to produce innovative specialist consumer devices and accessories. To this end, our Bluetooth Smart team is proud to deliver the CSR µEnergy SDK for software developers.

 

The CSR µEnergy Remote Control Development Kit (RCDK) which includes this SDK, a new graphical development tool and an application specific hardware development board is now available. The kit enables the rapid development of complete next generation remote controls with support for advanced features such as gesture and voice control.

 

The RCDK can be used to develop low-cost, simple remote controls with CSR CSR1010™  silicon as well as more advanced devices with our CSR1011™ silicon, which provides more extensive I/O capabilities.

Bluetooth smart remote control development kit

Graphical development tool features

  • Keypads and key maps can be selected using a new GUI with the corresponding application code to configure the on-chip peripherals generated automatically. This process ensures that the developer’s specification is met and the optimised hardware features of the silicon are fully utilised to achieve lowest possible power consumption
  • The tools generate a complete source code project for the remote control which can be further customised to add any application specific features and innovations. These code projects fully integrate into the included µEnergy SDK, delivering a comprehensive environment for the developer
  • The GUI also supports the integration of a range of external components such as accelerometers for gesture control, touch pads for pointing and codecs for the capture of voice commands
  • Host communication is achieved using the Bluetooth SIG qualified HID over GATT profile (HOGP) running on the CSR µEnergy silicon. For communication with legacy devices in the home the RCDK includes the option of IR communications which can be added using the GUI

 

Integration into central devices

  • The RCDK also helps developers to integrate their designs with TV and Set-Top Box platforms. The CSR CSR8510™ silicon can be easily and rapidly added to provide host communications. This solution maximises power saving in the host by only waking the rest of the system when a valid command is received from the remote control
  • The graphical tool generates HID descriptors which enable the host controller to interpret the commands from the Bluetooth Smart remote using its integrated HOGP stack, communicating them to the host application as USB HID commands, which often require minimal changes to the existing design
  • Example code for the Linux operating system is included in the RCDK

 

Hardware features

  • The RCDK includes a hardware development board featuring a keypad, voice codec, IR LEDs and MEMS sensors. Pin headers are provided to enable users to wire in their own sensors or keypads for rapid development. Combined with the graphical tool, developers can select their favoured options and then measure CSR’s market leading current consumption

 

The RCDK is available for $500 and can be ordered from http://www.csr.com/products/csr-energy-product-family.

 

CSR’s tools provide the fastest method to enable next generation remote controls and CSR leads the market in highly optimised hardware solutions. Developers can benefit from this winning combination to make their next device a market winner.

 

We’d love to speak to you about how CSR can help with your remote controls project. Please leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you directly.

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CSR to ring the NASDAQ closing bell

CSR visits the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square, today, Tuesday the 30th of July 2013.

In honour of the occasion, Jeff Torrance, VP IR, Anthony Murray, SVP Business Group and Andy Skelton, Deputy CFO, will ring the NASDAQ Closing Bell at 4.00pm (Eastern Time).

This is the third time that CSR, listed on NASDAQ as “CSRE”, has rung that bell. But the first time that CSR’s eye-catching new logo appears on broadcast TV.

You can watch the live ceremony on streaming video by clicking this link.

To read about CSR’s Q2 and half-year results, click this link.

The inventor of the electronic exchange, The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., fuels economies and provides transformative technologies for the entire lifecycle of a trade – from risk management to trade to surveillance to clearing. In the U.S. and Europe, we own and operate 26 markets including 3 clearinghouses and 5 central securities depositories supporting equities, options, fixed income, derivatives, commodities, futures and structured products. Able to process more than 1 million messages per second at sub-55 microsecond average speeds with 99.99% uptime, our technology drives more than 70 marketplaces in 50 developed and emerging countries into the future, powering 1 in 10 of the world’s securities transactions. Our award-winning data products and worldwide indexes are the benchmarks in the financial industry. Home to approximately 3,300 listed companies worth $6 trillion in market cap whose innovations shape our world, we give the ideas of tomorrow access to capital today. Welcome to where the world takes a big leap forward, daily. Welcome to the NASDAQ OMX Century. To learn more, visit www.nasdaqomx.com. Follow us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/NASDAQ) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/nasdaqomx). (Symbol: NDAQ and member of S&P 500).

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Developing Bluetooth Smart accessories for Android

Bluetooth low energy development on Android has been frustrating, but this week provides a step change with the introduction of a standard GATT API on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Android application developers now have a single API for application development for Bluetooth Smart accessories that will be available across multiple manufacturers’ handsets. With Android accounting for up to 70% of smartphone sales in Europe and China, this creates a huge market expansion for accessory developers. CSR is committed to supporting Android developers – look out for example application code on CSR Support.

CSR Bluetooth low energy development kit

Getting Started with Bluetooth low energy on Android 4.3:

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Corporate, Technology | 2 Comments

aptX audio devices: The best of the rest

A couple of months ago we posted a blog in which we listed a selection of some of the best aptX enabled wireless audio solutions on the market which consumers can get their hands on to lose the wires without losing the audio quality.

It’s fantastic to have the CSR aptX logo stamped on devices by Logitech, Braven and Beats by Dr. Dre, but high-quality audio is not a feature that is limited to such global brands. A raft of new and innovative aptX enabled products from smaller high-end audio companies are currently on or are in the process of getting on the market, all of which enable high-quality streaming Bluetooth stereo audio. Here’s our pick of some of the finest:

Mass Fidelity Relay
This aptX device enables users to upgrade their existing Hi-Fi systems and have all the freedom of wireless without compromising on audio quality. The Relay Hi-Fi wireless receiver connects all your Bluetooth Smart devices to your existing stereo setup so you can sit back and use your device as the controller. Enjoy all your digital music on your favourite sound system, whether it’s stored on your device or streamed from the cloud, without having to switch sources

mass-fidelity-relay-bluetooth-receiver

Poet Audio pandoretta°
How’s this for beautiful design? This brushed stainless steel and wood wonder is created by top Austrian designer Thomas Feichtne. The pandoretta° is one of the best looking 360° sound systems in the world. aptX enabled for the highest quality Bluetooth stereo audio streaming experience, its sound quality sets new standards. Seven speakers make for an outstanding sound, regardless of your position in the room

poets-close_1

BlueCreation Jambadoo
Fellow Cambridge innovator BlueCreation is using Kickstarter to fund its new idea, a Bluetooth receiver that can connect to three devices simultaneously. Currently available Bluetooth receivers only allow one phone to be connected at a time, but with Jambadoo, you and two others will be connected and ready to play music. As soon as one person presses ‘Play’, their phone’s music booms out from the speakers. They don’t need others to pause, and they don’t need to disconnect and reconnect, which takes time and causes awkward silences. Of course, it contains the aptX audio codec to offer high quality digital audio output in addition to standard analogue

Bayan Audio Soundbook
For those who want high quality music on the go, Bayan Audio has launched its new Soundbook. It may be small, but it’s very portable and certainly powerful enough to lend your summer BBQs an incredibly rich sound experience! Released at the end of July, the Soundbook is yet another fantastic aptX enabled device that enables high-fidelity Bluetooth stereo streaming from compatible devices

bayanaudio-soundbook

As the wireless home ecosystem carries on growing, we’re certainly looking forward to seeing more and more Kickstarter projects and indie developers launch new devices containing aptX technology onto the market. Do you own an aptX device, or are you planning to develop one? Leave a comment and let us know!

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CSR takes “Best Paper Award” at Cadence user conference

CSR’s Colin Thomas and Caroline Kuszynski shared the “Best Paper Award” in the Digital Implementation and Logic Design Track of CDNLive EMEA, the annual conference for Cadence EDA users. (Here they are pictured with the glass trophy outside Churchill House, CSR’s Cambridge HQ).

This year’s CDNLive EMEA 2013 in Munich, Germany brought together a record number of Cadence technology users, developers, and industry experts to network, share best practices on critical design & verification issues, and discover new techniques for realizing advanced silicon, SoCs, and systems.

Here’s the gist of the CSR’s winning paper: at small process nodes, printing geometries onto silicon becomes more difficult. Traditional design rules cannot identify all manufacturing weaknesses, and therefore compute-intensive lithography simulations are required. These though have long cycle times. This paper describes how, thanks to inter-departmental collaboration, CSR came up with techniques to reduce both the number of weak structures and the cycle time to identify them from digital place and route.

[Photography by Natalie Faux]. Continue reading “CSR takes “Best Paper Award” at Cadence user conference” »

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CSR chooses XJTAG boundary scan for speed and flexibility

XJTAG_logoCSR is using XJTAG boundary scan within integrated test solutions that contain conventional and custom-designed instruments and interfaces used for parametric measurements and functional tests. XJTAG boundary scan tests are invoked by custom test software.

“XJTAG provides Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that enable integration with our bespoke test software,” says CSR’s Hardware Test Manager Brendan Townsend. “These APIs make it possible for us to employ boundary scan in the way we want.”

The XJTAG system is helping CSR test its own electronic assemblies for use in companywide test and development applications. XJTAG programs can test devices connected to the boundary scan chain as well as non-JTAG devices on the same nets. The system is also used to perform tasks such as programming devices and verifying PCBs according to the netlist.

“We can test both for connectivity and short circuits on hundreds of connections in a single test pass,” says Brendan Townsend. “Some of our boards contain CPLDs designed-in expressly to allow us to test board-to-board connectors using XJTAG.”

According to Brendan Townsend, time savings are among the most valuable benefits the XJTAG system has delivered.

“Test and programming times are greatly reduced when compared to an otherwise manually-driven process. To highlight one example, we have cut the overall programming and test time of one of our boards from two hours to four minutes while at the same time considerably increasing test coverage. Fault diagnosis is also faster, and we are benefiting at the operational level through reduced operator training and by eliminating the need to author extended work instructions, which can take days.”

With XJTAG, CSR’s test strategies are also more flexible and adaptable.

“XJTAG has allowed our test engineering activity to transition from bespoke hardware towards the more flexible software domain. We are able to reuse and update project files efficiently, since XJTAG tests are device-centric rather than board-centric,” comments Brendan Townsend. “We are also able to deploy proven tests in a variety of scenarios, such as for early build verification when working with contract assemblers.”

Brendan Townsend adds that reliable and knowledgeable support from the XJTAG technical team has contributed to CSR’s success using boundary scan.

“XJTAG’s support engineers have excellent credentials, and are communicative and accessible. With their help, taking advantage of the features and flexibility of the XJTAG system, we have established consistent test processes that are not dependent on the skills of individual users. Overall, XJTAG has enabled us to achieve exactly what we wanted from boundary scan.”

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Rick Clemmer talks to Joep van Buerden

In his role as Chairman of the Global Semiconductor Alliance, Joep van Beurden, CEO at CSR, interviewed Rick Clemmer, Executive Director, President & CEO, NXP Semiconductors at this year’s GSA European Executive Forum.

The hour long “fireside chat” session looked at the current state of Europe’s semiconductor industry and Rick’s work at NXP – looking at everything from the challenges and opportunities in different markets across the globe to the secrets behind Rick’s success at NXP.

If you weren’t able to attend and are interested in catching up you can view the full session in three parts here.

What do you think are the major challenges and opportunities the industry faces in the next five years? It would be great to hear your thoughts.

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CSR hosts In-Location Alliance plenary

IN-LOCATION_ALLIANCEAt the beginning of last year, it became apparent to a core of around a dozen companies, including Nokia, CSR, and others, that if indoor positioning systems (IPS) were to develop quickly, an organisation was needed to promote indoor location and to encourage the development of standards that could be used to accelerate the take-up of the technology. This ultimately led to the creation of the In-Location Alliance SIG, in August last year, which, by that time, had 22 companies involved.

It hasn’t stopped there: because of the huge interest in indoor location, the In-Location Alliance has since grown now to around 80 companies that are keen to discuss the subject, and also to develop and promote the associated technologies.

Of course, to do this the Alliance needs to hold meetings, and CSR made its contribution by hosting representatives from 32 member companies at the 3rd In-Location Alliance Technical Plenary at the CSR Sunnyvale office on the 18th and 19th of June, 2013.

Continue reading “CSR hosts In-Location Alliance plenary” »

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Improving the mobile gaming experience

Over the past 12 months gamers have increasingly been using tablets and other mobile devices to play games, as news from this week’s E3 trade show highlights. Consumers want to game anywhere and at any time, rather than being tied to consoles at home, meaning mobiles have now become gaming platforms in their own right.

But whether gamers are using mobile platforms instead of, or in addition to consoles, they don’t want to compromise on the quality of their overall gaming experience. They still demand as much control as possible to create a seamless and truly immersive gaming experience. In response to this trend, a new range of devices are being developed. Gaming tablets, with all the processing power of gaming PCs, are being developed to ensure there’s no compromise on speed.

But it’s not just source devices that are being overhauled. Users are also looking for peripheral devices, including mice, keyboards and touchpads, that offer the console-like functionality needed to rapidly detect and process the multiple, fast-paced digital inputs that result from the lightning fast fingers of gamers. For portability and usability these devices also need to be wireless, and to avoid constant charging they need to consume the least power possible.

Low power consumption for powerful peripherals

This is where the latest developments to the Bluetooth standard come into their own. Bluetooth 4.0 or ‘Bluetooth Smart’ enables wireless devices to consume a fraction of the power of previous standard Bluetooth versions, as it uses very short pulses of radio activity which drastically reduce power consumption. Devices can stay connected, but the radio is off most of the time, rapidly responding when data is available, delivering the longest battery life on the market as well as the level of responsiveness needed for gaming. It provides universal compatibility, so products are game and hardware independent and can be used with any Bluetooth Smart Ready device. It also has a significantly simplified set-up process, so users can get gaming in seconds.

The Mad Catz GameSmart range is embracing Bluetooth’s new features

The Mad Catz GameSmart range is embracing Bluetooth’s new features

CSR’s Bluetooth Smart platforms are centred around making use of our µEnergy hardware modem architecture, which offers a unique approach. The modem and the ultra-low power programmable IO controller can communicate with sensors and peripheral devices, without using the integrated microprocessor. This minimises power consumption and reduces data transfer latency. This is ideal for those developers working in the gaming hardware industry. With minimum development effort, system level power consumption is minimised while still allowing for optimum performance.

Syncing audio and video:

Wireless gaming headsets present the additional challenge of keeping the sound effects that you hear synchronised with the action, as if there’s any delay between the audio and the video it can ruin the gaming experience. Even high-quality Bluetooth audio has an inherent delay of more than 150 ms. While this can be compensated for in various ways to ensure that the lips match the speech when watching a movie, gamers carrying out actions on the screen that involve gun shots, bomb blasts and other intermittent and unpredictable sounds, expect an immediate audio response, which cannot be compensated for. In order to achieve action-synchronised sound when gaming, this delay must be less than the 40 ms. One way of achieving this is by incorporating the aptX Low Latency audio codec which will reduce the delay to approximately 32ms, meaning users will experience fully synchronised audio and video.

For developers looking to incorporate Bluetooth Smart and low latency wireless audio into their headsets, the CSR8670 device fits the bill. The CSR silicon is flash based and incorporates Kalimba, the onboard DSP, which is where aptX Low Latency resides. In addition to aptX, it offers a rich variety of functionality that includes high performance audio DACs and ADCs, I/Os that include SPDIF, I2S, I2C and GPIO, capacitive touch control and Bluetooth Smart.

With 58 per cent of US games developers releasing their next games for smartphones and tablets, mobile gaming is only set to grow. Gaming accessory developers, for example Mad Catz, with its GameSmart range, are embracing Bluetooth’s new features. Gamers buying wireless mobile accessories with long battery life, truly synchronised audio and console-like functionality and performance should look for the Bluetooth Smart and aptX symbols.

Posted in Applications and Markets, Bluetooth Smart, Connectivity, Technology, Voice & Music | Leave a comment