Palm picks Broadcom for Bluetooth on new PDAs

Palm Inc. has selected a partner to help it build Bluetooth short-range networking into future personal digital assistants (PDA), but the company won't say when the devices will reach market.

Palm and Irvine, Calif.-based Broadcom Corp. will work together on finding the best way to build Broadcom's BCM2033 single-chip Bluetooth transceiver into the PDAs, Palm said in a statement released Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The company didn't specify when Bluetooth chips would be included or in which models.

Bluetooth is an international standard for personal-area networks using low-power radio signals with a range of 10 meters or less. The technology will enable Palm users to wirelessly communicate with devices such as PCs, printers and mobile telephones, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Palm said. Synchronizing, for example, will no longer require a cable. Bluetooth chips don't use much power and are small.

The Bluetooth announcement follows less than a month after Palm said it would use Dallas-based Texas Instruments Inc.'s General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) chips in its PDAs. Mobile telecommunications operators provide GPRS service. It would allow a Palm user to connect to the Internet at a speed comparable to a traditional PC modem.

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