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10-Year Battery Life Coming to Bluetooth Keyboards

On Tuesday Broadcom introduced a new reference design and accompanying software that will enable up to ten years of battery life for keyboards and other Human Interface Devices (HIDs) based on the "classic" Bluetooth basic rate radio. That means over the course of ten years -- or the device's expected lifespan -- users won't need to replace a set of AA batteries or recharge the device itself. Ever.

"The new reference design is based on the Broadcom BCM20730 65-nm low-power HID chip and includes several innovations that also will make wireless keyboards and mice easier to use," the company said. "With integrated support for USB HID Emulation (UHE) and Broadcom's ZeroTouch configuration technology, these peripherals can be used right out of the box with no special pairing procedure, making them ideal for 'all-in-one' desktop PCs."

Broadcom said the BCM20730 Bluetooth chip is compliant with the Bluetooth 4.0 Core Specification and includes support for Unicast Connectionless Data (UCD) and Enhanced Power Control (EPC) introduced in Bluetooth Core Specification 3.0 + HS. It's also compatible with Bluetooth smart ready and other HID host devices (tablets, smartphones, consoles etc), and supports the upcoming upgraded HID Profile 1.1.

"Bluetooth continues to gain momentum as the technology of choice for wireless mice, keyboards, 3D glasses and consumer electronics remote controls with more than 4 billion standard Bluetooth chips already installed in popular electronics to which these HIDs can connect," the company said. "HIDs based on the Broadcom BCM20730 can enjoy the same battery life as those based on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) technology, even when connected to existing devices that have shipped with older versions of Bluetooth."

The new BCM20730-based ultra low power HID reference design is available now and is also sampling out to customers. That said, the availability of products using this new chip is unknown at this point, so stay tuned.