CSR has launced BlueCore Input Connection Enhancement (BlueICE) software to allow Bluetooth keyboards and mice using BlueCore silicon to connect with the host PC simply by adding batteries. According to CSR, the new software solution will transform wireless PC peripherals from a premium aftermarket purchase to a mass market standard. It will also allow them to be used during boot-up before the operating system has loaded, negating the need for a reserve wired keyboard, said CSR.
"Simplicity of connection and the difficulty in using them to change BIOS settings were previously major barriers to the bundling of wireless peripherals with new PCs," said David McCall, vice president of the PC strategic business unit at CSR. "Consumers would need to keep a wired keyboard in reserve if they needed to boot from a CD or change the BIOS since the wireless devices needed to wait for the OS to load the Bluetooth software stack before they could connect. BlueICE circumvents this issue, meaning that a BlueICE keyboard and mouse are as simple and straightforward to use as one with a wire."
BlueICE is a collection of software developed specifically to work with BlueCore4-EXT in wireless keyboards, mice and the host interface (either built into a PC or housed in a dongle). Using BlueICE for all three components of the desktop PC system allows advanced features of the software, such as Auto-Connect, to be used. The user simply adds the batteries to the mouse and keyboard. Because of CSR's BlueICE software, the devices will then be found automatically by the host Bluetooth module. Users can also delete any existing pairing information, discover new devices, or activate the auto connect function by pushing a button on the host module and peripheral devices.
Upon start-up, BlueICE switches the host module to human interface device (HID) proxy mode, allowing the BlueCore host module to present itself on the USB bus as a USB composite device containing a keyboard and mouse. In this mode, the BlueICE firmware implements the HID profile, internally allowing the keyboard and mouse to work without the Bluetooth software stack being accessible. Once the operating system has fully loaded, host controller interface (HCI) mode is enabled and the BlueCore host module presents the HCI interface on the USB bus. The host module can also be switched automatically to operate in regular Bluetooth mode enabling Bluetooth connections to other Bluetooth enabled devices.