Cypress Semiconductor Corp. plans to leverage its dominance in USB chips with its RF capability to create a market for wireless USB peripherals.
The company today will unveil its CY694x WirelessUSB family, which it says is the first in a line of products that integrates a USB 2.0 baseband controller with a 2.4GHz radio and 128-bit security encryption to target human-interface-device (HID) applications such as PC keyboards and mice and console game pads.
"We tend to be well entrenched with customers here, and these are the markets where there's a lot of desire for a wireless solution," said Norm Taffe, managing director of the wireless business unit at Cypress, San Jose.
Most wireless mice and keyboards today use 27MHz discrete solutions, while the market for wireless game pads is still embryonic, Taffe said. In both areas, Cypress hopes to entice designers looking for the next step up with features that include less than 8ms latency with four concurrent devices connected, and a universal operating frequency.
But while the WirelessUSB devices will share the 2.4GHz spectrum with applications like cordless phones, wireless LANs, and Bluetooth, they employ a frequency-hopping spread-spectrum scheme and low-bandwidth operation to eliminate interference problems, the company claims.
The two-way, half-duplex chips support up to seven active nodes per host and a 10-meter transmission range, and use the same software drivers as existing USB parts, Cypress said.
The devices consist of radio and baseband ICs integrated in a single package. The radio chip is manufactured in 0.25-micron BiCMOS to get standby current of less than 10µA. The USB baseband is produced in 0.25-micron CMOS.
Cypress plans by mid-2003 to follow the two-way/security family with a lower-cost one-way offering that will compete more directly with existing 27MHz solutions.
The company also intends sometime later to roll out a Bluetooth-compatible version to take advantage of the eventual integration of Bluetooth into PC chipsets.
Sampling now are the CY6941 mouse chip in a 64-ball FBGA, the CY6942 keyboard IC in an 81-ball FBGA, and the CY6943 bridge IC in a 64-ball FBGA. Full production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2003, with volume pricing of $3.92.