GENEVA--STMicroelectronics here today announced a partnership with Ericsson Mobile Communications to develop a range of ICs for Bluetooth wireless links based on a core architecture from the Swedish telecommunications supplier.
The Bluetooth pact is the second announced this week by LM Ericsson's mobile communications group, which also entered into an agreement with Philips Semiconductors (see Dec. 7 story). Ericsson Microelectronics this week also announced a separate development and production agreement for next-generation Bluetooth chip technologies and designs with silicon foundry supplier Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. of Singapore (see Dec. 7 story).
STMicro said it will work with Ericsson Mobile Communications to optimize Bluetooth solutions under a common architecture. Like other Ericsson partnerships covering Bluetooth technologies, the ST alliance is aimed at expanding the industry's support for the radio-frequency communications standard.
Bluetooth is an RF specification for a short-range, point-to-multipoint voice and data transfer developed jointly by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia, and Toshiba. It is being positioned as a potential standard to link mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable devices to the Internet.
ST said the first device resulting from its work with Ericsson will be implemented in a 0.18-micron CMOS technology. The process technology will combine RF functions with logic and digital processing to establish and control communication links between Bluetooth-enabled devices, according to the company.
"Common use of the proven Ericsson Bluetooth core will help facilitate product interoperability," saidJoel Monnier, corporate vice president and director of central R&D at ST. "Ericsson, as one of the Bluetooth founding members, has deep and intimate knowledge of Bluetooth. By combining this valuable intellectual property with ST's design and technology capabilities, we will be in a position to deliver optimized Bluetooth solutions requiring minimum board space and pre-validated RF implementation."
Monnier said ST's RFCMOS8 process combines 0.18-micron high-performance digital process technology with advanced RF capabilities. The RFCMOS8 process technology has the ability to integrate complex digital circuits with RF transceivers for operation in the gigahertz frequency range, said the company.