Broadcom Corporation has announced Version 5.0 of its Widcomm BTW Bluetooth software. BTW (Bluetooth for Windows) is the industry's most widely deployed Bluetooth software based on Microsoft Windows. This new version adds several features designed to simplify the interaction between PCs and other devices such as cellular phones, PDAs and printers.
"Version 5.0 of our BTW software further expands the functionality of Bluetooth-enabled devices when connected to PCs," said Scott Bibaud, Senior Director of Marketing for Broadcom's Bluetooth products. "By constantly increasing the feature set of our BTW software, Broadcom is driving the deployment of Bluetooth as the premier consumer wireless technology for use in today's portable electronic devices."
Broadcom BTW 5.0 software includes many new features that significantly enhance the user experience for PCs equipped with Bluetooth technology. Since many mobile devices are constrained by size, they are unable to include peripherals such as printers or external speakers. Using the new BTW Version 5.0 software, the end user can extend many of the functions native to the PC to other devices that support Bluetooth, allowing the PC to act as a personal hub for multiple mobile devices. This includes the ability to wirelessly stream print jobs from a cellular phone through a PC to a printer or simply to listen to stereo MP3 files over a desktop computer's speakers from an MP3 player or multimedia phone without the need for a cable connector.
The new BTW Version 5.0 software also includes many additional features that enhance more conventional Bluetooth device interactions. For example, the new software enables a PC to support multiple Bluetooth radios within a single device, allowing the user to decide whether to use an embedded radio or an add-on dongle for particular applications. BTW 5.0 also features support for Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) technology for use with devices like Broadcom's BCM2045 single-chip EDR Bluetooth device, which provides an almost 3X increase in throughput over non-EDR Bluetooth devices.
In addition to the extensive functionality enabled by previous versions of the software, BTW Version 5.0 also includes new profiles:
HCRP (Hard Copy Cable Replacement) -- enables Bluetooth to work as a direct wire replacement technology, allowing for a very straight forward link between a printer and host device
Basic Printing Profile -- functions as a printer rendering engine to simplify printing from devices such as cell phones and PDAs
Basic Imaging Profile -- simplifies the management of images between Bluetooth devices
A/V Sink -- allows the user to play music from an MP3 player, mobile phone or PDA to a PC
Printer Sink -- enables PDAs, cellular phones or other devices to send print jobs through PCs to printers
The software is currently shipping to early access partners with commercial availability expected in the third quarter of 2005.