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Dialog pursues HID market with keyboard reference design

Posted: 29 May 2014  Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth Smart  reference design  human interface  keyboard 

Dialog Semiconductor plc has launched a wireless keyboard reference design for its Bluetooth Smart SoC solution to accommodate the growing market for PC peripherals—or Human Interface Devices (HIDs)—in the office and at home.

The SmartBondTM DA14580 SoC integrates a radio transceiver and base band processor for Bluetooth Smart supporting both 4.0 and 4.1 specifications. It includes an embedded One-Time-Programmable (OTP) memory for storing Bluetooth profiles as well as custom application code. The chip is claimed to consume less than half the power of currently available Bluetooth Smart solutions. It is available in packages that measure 2.5mmx2.5mm.

The wireless keyboard reference design takes advantages of the chip's capabilities to maximise wireless keyboard battery lifetime longevity and reduce BoM. It features a 109-key keyboard with numeric keypad and function keys, as well as LEDs for connection status and low battery indication.

The reference design includes all necessary hardware, software, and documentation. The software is provided in source code and offers the flexibility to customise the keyboard and wireless connection parameters according the designer's requirements.

DA14580 block diagram

The DA14580 has dedicated hardware for the link layer implementation of Bluetooth Smart and interface controllers for enhanced connectivity capabilities. Source: Dialog Semiconductor

The PC peripherals sector, which includes keyboards and mice, is an important new market for Dialog's Bluetooth Smart applications because it builds on the established large-volume market for PCs and tablets, where the majority of products have already adopted the Bluetooth Smart standard. Consequently, the widespread adoption of Bluetooth Smart in keyboards is expected to follow.

According to IHS, 623 million PCs, laptops and tablets will ship in 2014 with the majority supporting Bluetooth Smart. The PC peripherals market is a similar size, with 614 million units forecast to ship this year. In addition, it is predicted that Bluetooth Smart will be the fastest growing segment of the HID market for the coming five years. These trends are being driven by the widespread adoption of Bluetooth Smart, and the convenience and cost savings that come from eliminating the need for a dongle.

Rapid adoption of Bluetooth Smart in PC peripherals is also driven by factors such as improved pairing mechanisms, declining wireless prices and increasing consumer demand for wireless products. The increasing adoption of Windows 8—which natively supports Bluetooth Smart as well as offering an improved user experience—is also expected to boost the popularity of wireless PC peripherals.





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