updated 11:10 am EST, Tue December 6, 2011
Keyboards backwards-compatible with Bluetooth PCs
Broadcom has introduced a new chip that is claimed to enable Bluetooth keyboards to run for up to 10 years without swapping or recharging batteries. The low-power component is specifically geared for human interface devices (HIDs), such as keyboards and mice, that are used in conjunction with tablets, smartphones and computers.
Although the new chip utilizes new methods for efficiently transmitting signals, the technology is still backwards compatible with existing devices that support Bluetooth specifications 1.1 through 4.0. The radio dynamically adapts its performance to save power when it does not need to transmit at higher power.
The BCM20730 HID chip is now available to manufacturers on a sample basis. Keyboards and other devices using the new chip are expected to arrive on the market in the near future.