Chip developer SMSC announced a new device controller that has the potential to simplify the transfer of files from digital cameras or camera phones to infrared-enabled devices. The USB2230 combiones the capability of a USB-to-infrared feature with the functionality of a 15-in-1 flash media device controller. For example, the chip enables consumers to transfer digital images from their camera phones and other Infrared Data Association (IrDA) enabled devices.
The advantage of the technology approach appears to be mainly cost at this time. According to SMSC, the alignment of flash media and infrared onto a single chip reduces development and hardware costs.
While a wireless connection always is convenient, infrared brings drawbacks to other technologies such as very limited bandwidth. SMSC’s controller supports data rates between 0.6 kbit per second and a maximum of 4 Mbit per second. Typically wireless capability at this time is only available for higher-end cameras but is based on Wi-Fi technology to allow a relatively fast transfer of large files. However, as long as Wi-Fi is not making its way into mainstream cellphones, SMSC’s chip could be an interesting and low-cost alternative to Bluetooth.
The device is priced at $5 each in 10,000 unit quantities. (THG)