Sirf rolls combo GPS-Bluetooth radio IC

SAN FRANCISO—GPS chip vendor Sirf Technology Holdings Inc. Wednesday (Oct. 8) introduced a single-chip combination radio IC with a GPS RF front end and a complete Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR controller optimized for use with the company's multifunction system-on-chip (SoC) platforms.

SiRFlinkIII, available now, can drive its on-chip Bluetooth radio at full class 2.0 power while providing high GPS sensitivity, and offers cost and time-to-market advantages to drive Bluetooth functionality in next-generation mobile convergence devices, Sirf said.

“Our goal and our expectation is that in the next generation of navigation system designs Bluetooth will become much more prevalent,” said Kanwar Chadha, Sirf's founder and vice president of marketing.

The 90-nm CMOS device implements sophisticated schemes—such as blocking schemes and isolation of radios within the silicon—to help system-level OEMs overcome the challenges associated with integrating a GPS radio with other radios, Chadha said.

SiRFlinkII passed Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (enhanced data rate) qualification tests as well as interoperability testing with more than 150 mobile phones on the market, according to Sirf (San Jose, Calif.).

Because the GPS and Bluetooth functions share many peripheral components, such as power regulators and clock sources, the SiRFlinkIII combo radio IC is able to offer a low bill of materials cost and small footprint, the company said.

Sirf said SiRFlinkIII is pre-integrated with Sirf's SiRFatlas and SiRFprima SoC platforms, enabling it to include features for Bluetooth operation in personal navigation devices, such as noise and echo cancellation. It is available with Bluetooth profiles such as HFP, A2DP, DUN and others from Bluetooth profile vendors, the company said.

Pre-integrating the device with the company's multifunction SoC platforms optimizes the system-level performance while minimizing the design complexity for customers, Chadha said.

The SiRFlinkIII is sampling to lead customers now, with full production volumes anticipated by the end of this year, Sirf said. Chadha said the company expects the device to be incorporated in navigation systems entering the market early next year.

A complete reference design and full evaluation kit are also available, Sirf said.

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