Bluetooth engineers from Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR) will be visiting Buckingham Palace today to pick up the Royal Academy of Engineering's MacRobert Award from Prince Philip.
The five-strong team won the award, and a tax-free cheque for £50,000, for their work on the company's Bluecore range. Bluecore combines a Bluetooth radio transmitter with a silicon chip to allow both processing and clear communications.
"It sounds easy but in fact the 'noise' of the electrical signals on a tiny electronic chip would normally swamp a radio receiver working with micro-volt signals, and at the time it was thought to be impossible," explained Dr Phil O'Donovan, CSR's commercial director and co-founder.
The technique used time-synchronised communication between periods of low electrical noise from the processor.
"From a standing start in 1999, CSR has established a leading position among the world's largest semiconductor companies," said Dr Robin Paul, chairman of the MacRobert Award judging panel.
"They have achieved a remarkable breakthrough to meet the Bluetooth wireless standard proposed in 1998 on a single chip, and have moved astutely to become the global market leader with over 900 Bluetooth consumer products using their chips."
The MacRobert Award was set up to recognise excellence in the field of engineering. Prince Philip is the Academy's Senior Fellow, and has presented the award every year since its inception in 1969.
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