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MWC 2010

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Moto Devour Acer Adobe Flash Bluetooth 3.0 HS  

Broadcom was demonstrating the capabilities of its newest Bluetooth + WiFi combo chips here at MWC this year. Its new BCM4329 chip - already used in the HTC HD2, Touch2, and Nexus One - is capable of supporting Bluetooth 3.0 with the proper software (driver stack) on the phone.

Bluetooth 3.0 brings a number of improvements to the standard, but the most important for consumers is the new "HS" (high speed) mode. HS actually uses 802.11 (WiFi) to transfer data, but the process starts with using Bluetooth to find the other device (usually another phone) and establish the direct phone-to-phone connection. It makes it easy to send a file from one phone to another - like a photo - just like you would with Bluetooth OPP (OBEX), but much faster, since it's using the speedy 802.11 radio. Sending a file directly from one phone to another via WiFi isn't normally possible, or at least not easy. Bluetooth 3.0 HS make it simple.

Here's a quick video demo of Bluetooth 3.0 HS in action. As you can see, a 3-megapixel photo is captured and sent to another phone almost instantly:

One of the weak points of Android is its limited Bluetooth profile support. By default, Android uses the BlueZ Bluetooth software "stack", which only supports some basic audio profiles, like HFP, HSP, and A2DP (stereo.) Broadcom's chips - used in many Android phones - can of course support many more profiles, but there needs to be software support to enable that functionality. Broadcom now offers that software stack to manufacturers.

Samsung already uses this Broadcom software stack in phones like the Behold II and Moment, which is why those are some of the only Android phones to support profiles like OPP (for exchanging files) and PBA (for syncing your contacts with a car Bluetooth system.) Broadcom is working to add support for many more Bluetooth profiles to its Android software stack.

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