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VIA backs Bluetooth

Signs up with Ericsson

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The short-range wireless technology got another boost yesterday, as Taiwanese processor and board maker VIA licensed Bluetooth intellectual properties from Ericsson, Matt Whipp writes.

It remains unclear how VIA will deploy Bluetooth in its product range, although adding the technology to the chips it sells to manufacturers of computers and mobile phones is a strong possibility.

VIA makes the cheap Cyrix and Centaur processors that are sold in PCs destined for the developing world, but it is questionable whether Bluetooth would appear first in these devices, or its high end motherboards.

Bluetooth was designed as a cheap way of adding low power wireless connectivity to mobile devices, ideally at between $3 and $5 a shot. The technology simply hasn't had the general uptake expected of it when it was first announced, but it does finally seem to be on the verge of breaking into the mainstream.

In particular, Microsoft's recent announcement that it would be making a Bluetooth update available for XP signifies a sea change in the fortunes of the technology. With the likes of HP and Sony Ericsson launching Bluetooth-enabled PCs, printers, PDAs and phones, next year could bring the technology to a lot more devices, a lot less expensively.

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