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Avoiding the eda blues

Low cost tools get Bluetooth silicon up and running. By Paul Double.

The winner of the cut throat race to bring the first single chip Bluetooth transceiver to the market was not the one of 'usual suspects' from the group of blue chip semiconductor manufacturers. Rather, an innovative and dynamic start up Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) won the race with its first generation device BlueCore01. Since then, CSR has continued to keep the 'big boys' at bay by continuing to develop its BlueCore platform; for example, being the first to offer adaptive frequency hopping and enhanced data rate technology.

One of the keys to CSR's success has been its ability to focus resources on technology innovation. For product development, this has meant getting on with the job of designing the chips, instead of spending valuable time and money buying – and then learning how to use – expensive and complex eda tools.

That is why, when CSR went looking for a tool to help design the rf and analogue parts of its products, the company did not go to the eda big guns. CSR wanted to avoid paying what it perceived as high licence fees and maintenance costs associated with those tools.

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Graham Pitcher

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