Chip-maker Cypress takes another step into Bluetooth wireless

by Guy Kewney | posted on 25 March 2002

It's virtually impossible to be a player in Bluetooth without licensing software from Widcomm - so the news that Cypress has joined the long list of Widcomm customers indicates that the move into Bluetooth is meant seriously

Guy Kewney

The two companies have now announced that they will jointly develop next-generation Bluetooth solutions. Cypress will license a range of Bluetooth software products, including BTE (Bluetooth Embedded Software) and BTE development tools; while Widcomm engineers will work with Cypress to develop customized Bluetooth solutions for Cypress customers.

"This cooperative effort will team Cypress's personal communications and manufacturing expertise with Widcomm's expertise in short-range wireless connectivity software," they added in a joint statement remarkable for how little it actually gives away in several wordy paragraphs.

Details of when, and what, Cypress would be hoping to ship, were restricted to "next generation solutions." And after that, nothing was revealed beyond positive thinking: "This alliance will further strengthen Cypress's entry into the Bluetooth market," said Geoff Zawolkow, Managing Director for Cypress's Personal Communications Division. "I'm delighted to be working with the industry's premier Bluetooth software developer. As Bluetooth products evolve to products using a variety of short-range wireless technologies, this collaboration becomes a natural synergy," Zawolkow added.

Similar hand-waving from Widcomm: "Combining Widcomm's software with Cypress's Bluetooth products will enable customers to produce cost-effective solutions," said Andreas Malzach, Widcomm's Vice President of Marketing and GM, Europe. "This partnership is beneficial to both companies. The two complement one another in functional expertise."

Widcomm's announcements are not normally so empty: it recently announced a deal with Micro-Star International - one of the world's leading PC motherboard manufacturers to include Widcomm's Bluetooth Protocol Software for Windows (BTW) with MSI's PC motherboard products.

This makes MSI "the first motherboard manufacturer to implement Bluetooth wireless technology directly on its PC motherboard products," said Widcomm, announcing the deal at the recent Hannover CeBIT exhibition. "This will produce the first integrated Bluetooth desktop PCs. The MSI-Widcomm collaboration marks a major step for the PC industry as initial implementations were only targeted at daughter cards and USB adaptors primarily for notebook PCs."

"In signing a software licensing agreement with Widcomm, MSI is responding to the strong customer demand for Bluetooth wireless capability in computers. We sought to combine our hardware products with BTW because Widcomm's software solutions provide the most extensive and reliable support for the desktop and notebook PC market," commented Charles Chiang, MSI's VP of R&D Division. "The Widcomm cooperation enables us to guarantee that subsequent generations of desktop PCs will be equipped with state-of-the-art Bluetooth technology that corresponds to MSI's high standards for a user-friendly design."

No information was available on which PC makers would be buying this motherboard.