The CSR8000 series joins the company's 'Connectivity' platform range, along with the recently announced µEnergy device, extending the company's Bluetooth low energy product offerings. Initially the platform includes five variants, providing dual-mode Bluetooth connectivity with a dedicated DSP for advanced audio features. Members with integrated FM transmit and noise cancellation features will be added in the future.
While the platform will also offer a high-bandwidth audio feature, popularly known as HD Voice, there are no plans to develop parts with WiFi and there are no 8k series parts with GPS capabilities as present, unlike the existing CSR9000 series which is also listed as part of the Connectivity platform, but doesn't offer a Bluetooth low energy radio.
The first member of the series, the CSR8810, targets the smart phone market. However, according to CSR's Tim Palmer, the market for Bluetooth is much wider than just the smart phone market and it is this wider market that the 8k series really addresses; predominantly larger applications, as opposed to Bluetooth peripherals which are currently served by other products from CSR. Even so, the family is expected to be used in next-generation remote controls, which could represent a technological battle ground between Bluetooth low energy and RF4CE.
The market for Bluetooth low energy is expected to reach 2.5 billion devices by 2014, however with no inherent compatibility between devices with a 'standard' Bluetooth radio and the latest low energy variant it will essentially represent a new market.
The platform integrates a dedicated DSP to handle the signal processing necessary to provide HD Voice and other advanced audio features such as noise cancellation. With no general purpose processor integrated in to the platform, the intention is to interface the CSR8000 to a host processor running CSR's Synergy or Harmony software.
A dedicated part for the automotive market is also included, the CSR8311, which is expected to enable a wide range of new use-cases for Bluetooth, such as keyless entry and driver identification using a handset or keyfob, as well as cable replacement within the car itself.