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Bluetooth proximity fob prototype the focus of Nordic, Broadcom collaboration

Bluetooth proximity fob prototype the focus of Nordic, Broadcom collaboration

In a move claimed to demonstrate the interoperability between Bluetooth low energy chips and Bluetooth 4.0 devices, Nordic Semiconductor and Broadcom have entered into a partnership to develop an innovative new prototype proximity fob aimed at providing mobile device security.

The companies have successfully tested the prototype Bluetooth fob and Broadcom's BCM4330, which is said to be the first combo chip certified to the Bluetooth 4.0 standard.

"Demand for Bluetooth low energy continues to grow as the technology is integrated into the increasing number of consumer electronics devices," said Craig Ochikubo, vp and general manager, Broadcom's Wireless Personal Area Networking business unit. "By incorporating Bluetooth 4.0 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."

Based on a Nordic µBlue nRF8001 Bluetooth low energy chip, the new fob is designed to prevent a device such as a laptop being accessed in an owner's absence. After 'pairing' with the chip in the mobile device, the user carries the fob in person. If the distance between the user and the mobile device exceeds a pre set threshold, the pairing is broken and the mobile device automatically locks.

"This demonstration of seamless communication between Nordic's µBlue Bluetooth low energy technology and Broadcom's BCM4330/BCM20702 Bluetooth 4.0 solutions provides end customers with the lowest power peripheral/host solution available today," claimed Svenn-Tore Larsen, Nordic's ceo.

The nRF8001 Bluetooth low energy device is expected to be in production from early third quarter of this year.

Laura Hopperton

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