Broadcom to Help Develop Bluetooth for Next-Generation Palms

Broadcom Corp. and Palm Inc. have announced that they will work together to develop an advanced Bluetooth architecture for use in a next-generation Palm handheld. This will be based on Broadcom's Blutonium line of transceivers. Specifically, it will be designed around the Broadcom BCM2033, which is a single chip solution optimized for use in handheld computers.

Bluetooth, an international standard for short-range wireless data communications, will allow Palm handheld users to interact with a variety of devices, creating Personal Area Networks. For example, users will be able to HotSync without wires or use a Bluetooth-enabled cellphone as a modem for wireless networking, among many other possibilities. Bluetooth operates at data rates approaching 1 megabit per second without needing a line-of-sight connection.

The BCM2033 is a complete Bluetooth 1.1 compliant Bluetooth solution integrating the 2.4 GHz fractional-N radio transceiver and baseband controller all in a single chip. Integration onto a single chip was made possible because the entire Blutonium line was developed in a standard digital CMOS (or Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) manufacturing process.

"Palm handhelds adhere to highly restrictive space and power requirements in order to optimize size and battery life," said Angel Mendez, senior vice president of Global Operations at Palm, Inc. "Broadcom's Bluetooth products are a best-value solution meeting our cost, size, performance and power requirements, while also meeting Bluetooth specifications.''

The fact that Palm is going to release a handheld with built-in Bluetooth isn't new. Palm announced that months ago. However, this is the first announcement of any details.

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Right direction

Coyote67 @ 1/9/2002 5:12:39 PM #
What? No comments. Come on guys, this is very good. Palm is going in the right direction, and doing what they said they would. I would prefer 802.11b, or maybe a, but this is still good news.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.
RE: Right direction
mtg101 @ 1/9/2002 6:14:55 PM #
Given Palm announced at PalmSource 2000 that they would release a Bluetooth Palm in the second half of 2001, it's hardly great news to hear that they've just found someone to help them develop a product for sometime in the future...

Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos
RE: Right direction
mrscarey @ 1/9/2002 6:15:22 PM #
I agree we are going in the right direction but I bought my Ericsson r520 Bluetooth cellular phone nearly a year ago.

Bluetooth products already exist. Where are the Palm products? Red-M and TDK have products available but Palm promised an SD Bluetooth card a long time ago.

When are you going to change your tag line Coyote67?


palmist and visionary

RE: Right direction
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/9/2002 6:20:12 PM #
If you read the news you would know that the SDA (SD Association) only ratified the SDIO spec the other day. Hence shipping products before that would have been a disaster. Also it is Toshiba doing the mfr, Palm are doing the software, and that's been working for ages...

RE: Right direction
Coyote67 @ 1/9/2002 6:26:45 PM #
Why does everyone always have a problem with my sigs. I don't get it. Anyway. The finalization of SDIO has nothing to do with this. Bluetooth for the OS5 palms will be on the board, so SD doesn't play a part at all.

I realize that the visor has a bluetooth module, and as I'm sure other companys are developing modules for other handhelds aswell, the functionality is still external. Its a right step for them to be saying that it will be built in, and not an addon. True, it would be nice if they had done this long ago, but we don't know whats going on in the os5 camp. Maybe bluetooth is the last step? Who knows. Although to me it makes more sense to get the HW then work on the OS, but whatever.

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

RE: Right direction
mrscarey @ 1/9/2002 6:49:33 PM #
Ooh Expansys are taking preorders for the Toshiba Bluetooth SD card.

Patience is a virtue - seldom found in women and I have no truck with it.


palmist and visionary

I doubted it.
syCLIE @ 1/9/2002 7:13:04 PM #
What about Ir Port, does Palm plan to drop the Ir port in the future?

I think BlueTooth has no way to compete with IrDA in terms of speed and power consumption . The fast Bluetooth now is only 1M Bits and IrDA has 4Mbit already mass production. and VFIR in 16Mbit is coming in line.come on, HotSync with Bluetooth? it is so painful if you have big file to sync.

RE: Right direction
TDS @ 1/9/2002 10:26:01 PM #
Coyote 67, your tag lines are always weird. I don't even understand the current one. But, it is part of your personality on this site. We would all be very worried if you ever created a normal sig.

Integrated Bluetooth is really the only way to go! It seems as though that we are all using memory cards these days, and it is a real sacrifice to have to remove your memory card and 1/2 your programs to put in a networking card. I hope that Handspring is thinking of integrating Bluetooth into their handhelds.
Bluetooth will open up a whole new world of collaboration and communication with PalmOS devices. I am looking forward to printing to bluetooth printers and Hotsyncing from anywhere in my office.

RE: Right direction
Coyote67 @ 1/10/2002 12:33:00 AM #
When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

"When you have a gun shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels" - Jack, Fight Club

Gun=Clie, Clie=Something that no one should have :)

When you have a Clie shoved up your mouth, you can only talk in vowels.

RE: Right direction
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 4:19:45 AM #
syCLIE - IR might be faster on the paper, but the palms, like all other handhelds, only incorporate SIR type IR's and the maximum speed for those are 115 kbps or something like that. And even if they would support 4Mbit FIR the speed would still not improve that much under real world conditions. I have two recently new notebooks with 4Mbit firs, and the fastest ir connection I've been able to establish between them was 1.25 Mbit, and that required a completely dark room and a perfectly straight line between the ir sensors. Other than that syncing over bluetooth will most likely be alot faster than over serial, and ptrobably faster than usb too. So stop bitching about how slow bt.

RE: Right direction
mtg101 @ 1/10/2002 4:20:04 AM #
syClie - Syncing via Bluetooth isn't really the idea. Most desktop computers don't have Bluetooth, and even when they do, USB is going to be much faster.

The uses of Bluetooth are more likely going to be to connect to a camera to download pictures, or to a phone to get net access.

Also of course, there's the line of sight issues. At the moment if you want to connect to a phone and go online, you have to keep the devices lined up. Not really practical on a train or in the pub.

With Bluetooth, you just take out your Palm, leaving your phone in your pocket, and connect to the net. A much better solution.


Diga ao Falante pelos Mortos

RE: Right direction
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 5:07:11 AM #
Why does everybody quote wireless hotsyncing as a great feature of blue tooth? Dont you want to stick it in the cradle to charge it anyway?

It might be good when not at base (home or work) and want to install a file or something, but otherwise there are heaps more exciting things for bluetooth.

Eg use your moble phones features to compliment the palm such as record voice memos to palm + palm send alarms to phones powerfull ringer/vibe.

Also other cool things (not related to palm) are a standard interface to every mobile phone to integrate it with your car and car stereo. eg mute the music and route the phone audio through the speakers.

Come one everyone lets think creativly for more cool applications for bluetooth!

p.s wasnt there an anouncement a few months back about a dragonball processor with bluetooth built in rather than an extra chip? (only one extra chip is still pretty good though!)


RE: Right direction
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 7:02:13 AM #
The Motorola DragonBall will not be used for the next generation PALM PDA's, Palm will be using StrongARMS, more muscle power!

Palm Wireless Integrated Devices by Fall 2002 (and more)
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 7:11:19 AM #
Palm: Regaining Traction in Market Poised for Nest Wave of Growth

Presented at Morgan Stanley Internet, Software and Networking Conference January 8, 2002 and
Fourth Annual Needham & Co. Growth Conference January 9, 2002

-slide 15: Full behind-the-firewall server-based corporate e-mail

-slide 24: Broad Wireless Capabilities to be Integrated in Palm Devices by Fall 2002: Bluetooth/802.11b/GSM-GPRS

-Toshiba Releases SD Bluetooth Card in Japan
-It's all in the Cards
-"In addition to the rapid adoption of the SD Card within digital music players, DVDs, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), digital cameras and cellular phones we also look forward to its utilization in business applications and smart home appliances in the near future." The SDIO standard adoption allows the SD socket to serve as a memory device and an I/O port for device expansion. This capability can give portable devices, such as PDAs, multimedia systems and cell phones additional peripheral and accessory options without increasing size or circuit complexity. Currently SD Cards are in development for wireless functionality using Bluetooth, navigational devices based on GPS receivers, cameras and other useful devices.

from 'SD Association Ratifies New Product Specifications At CES 2002'

CES: Bluetooth arrives for car, phone, mobile devices
14:41 Tuesday 8th January 2002
Matthew Broersma

New products from Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, TDK and others make the wireless technology more accessible

Motorola on Monday launched a hands-free device for automobiles that uses the Bluetooth wireless networking standard, the most striking of several Bluetooth introductions at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Other new Bluetooth products include Microsoft's Bluetooth-enabled Windows CE.Net and an all-in-one communications kit from Nokia and TDK.

Microsoft launched Windows CE .Net, the latest version of its operating system for "embedded" devices like mobile phones and set-top boxes, on Monday. Windows CE .Net will ship with Bluetooth drivers pre-installed, making it easier for hardware developers to produce standardised, Bluetooth-enabled products. Fifteen vendors announced upcoming products based on CE .Net, including Fujitsu, with the I-pad mobile sales terminal; Hitachi, with a next-generation PDA; Motorola, with the EVr-8401 Enhanced TV Viewer; Samsung Information Systems America, with the Nexil wireless handheld computer; and Wyse Technology, with the Winterm 3000 line of Windows-based terminals.


-Microsoft Launches Windows CE .NET
-Industry Leaders Announce Plans to Power Smart Devices With Windows CE .NET: ABB Robotics, Casio, Cyberbank, Fujitsu, Hitachi, Impactra, Intermec, Motorola, Samsung, Siemens Information Appliances, Salton, Sony, Symbol Technologies, ViewSonic and Wyse Technology Announce Products Based on New Embedded Operating System
-Microsoft: Windows XP to support Bluetooth
-No shortage of viewpoints

Windows CE .NET

The Survivor's Guide to 2002

-PalmSource 2002, February 5-8, 2002, San Jose, CA;
Bluetooth offers a wealth of new application opportunities for Palm OS® software developers. Come see how Palm has INTEGRATED THIS HOT NEW TECHNOLOGY INTO ITS PLATFORM.
-The phony conflict; IEEE 802.11 and Bluetooth wireless technology
-Bluetooth And W-LAN Will Coexist

-Take a moment to consider the major differences between Bluetooth and 802.11b.

-Bluetooth Makes Headway in Consumer Products; Bluetooth has appeared either built-in or as an add-on for mobile phones, laptops, headsets, handheld computers and other devices. (From: Bluetooth shipments take off, December 3, 2001)

Don't believe those people who say that 802.11 will win over Bluetooth, or Bluetooth over 802.11 and that Bluetooth is late* etc. That's st@pido, because they are 2 different standards and DEVELOPED for different needs. 802.11 for NETWORKING and Bluetooth as CABLE REPLACEMENT. They complement eachother.

*Even with the recent delays, the progression of the Bluetooth standard is far ahead of the adoption rates of almost any other comparable technology. Many point to the sudden emergence of 802.11b as proof that Bluetooth has already been superseded by more advanced technologies. However, the truth is that the road towards 802.11b's success began over a decade ago in 1990 when the IEEE 802 Executive Committee established the 802.11 Working Group to create a wireless local area network (WLAN) standard. The b variant simply represents the emergence of a version of the standard that is a viable mass-market commercial solution. In comparison, Ericsson first began toying with the idea of a short-range wireless technology in 1994, four years after work on 802.11 began.

Furthermore, although the inspiration for Bluetooth occurred in 1994, real work on the technology as an industry standard did not start until the original Special Interest Group was formed in 1998. The 1.0 specification was released a mere two years ago in July 1999.

-"The problems that Bluetooth ran into were caused by classic overhype: talking about the technology before it was even ready for prime time," said Roy Dubé, who leads the mobile business division of Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

-"People who say there's competition between 802.11 and Bluetooth either don't understand that they serve two different markets, or simply want notoriety based on sensationalism," said Jack Quinn, an analyst at Micrologic Research, Phoenix.

-Will Wi-Fi (802.11b) deal a serious blow to the success of Bluetooth? Most experts answer with a conditional "no." Phil Belanger, past president and current marketing director for WECA (, believes that Wi-Fi will not make Bluetooth obsolete. "Bluetooth is a cable replacement, not a real network like Wi-Fi," notes Phil Belanger.



I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 7:57:18 AM #

No shortage of viewpoints

Bluetooth Developers Conference - a window on the future

PANs and WLANs - pain or gain for 3G?

Chrysler Telematics boosts US market

UPS $100 million project boosts Bluetooth, 802.11b


Gimme five - shifting silicon

Cellphone-centric devices to determine Bluetooth's future


Integrating Bluetooth

Bluetooth phones
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 9:04:30 AM #
Does anyone know of any phone with Bluetooth capability that will work with the Sprint PCS network? I have been hunting for a while, and the Ericcson phones are not compatible.

RE: Right direction
Ed @ 1/10/2002 1:03:33 PM #
> What about Ir Port, does Palm plan to drop the Ir port in the future?

Palm seems to be planning to keep IR around for a while. This press release said, "Together with infrared (IrDA), Bluetooth will enable Palm handheld users to interact with a variety of devices, creating innovative Personal Area Networks."

IR is everywhere while Bluetooth is still slowly catching on so I'd guess it will be quite some time before Palm phases it out, if it's going to.

News Editor

RE: Right direction
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 1:19:36 PM #
IR is so incredibly cheap to include now (~ $0.25) it doesn't make sense to drop it.

Bluetooth Store
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/11/2002 6:45:23 AM #

Way to go

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/10/2002 4:26:00 AM #
Way to go palm! This is _good_ news.



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