Avnet Opens Bluetooth Design Center

U.S.-based electronic components distributor Avnet has opened its Radio Frequency (RF) Design Services Lab in Singapore to provide value-added design and technical services for Bluetooth technology in the region.

The lab builds upon the Fortune 500 company’s presence in the island Republic, which also hosts its Asia headquarters, and regional distribution and device programming center.

Avnet has invested more than HK$4.5 million (US$580,000) to date in the 1,600 square-foot lab to capture the Bluetooth device market; company officials cite a Forrester Research finding, which estimates the global shipment of 11 million such devices by end-2001.

“We see the importance of quickly addressing the needs and opportunities for developing Bluetooth-enabled devices in the market this year,” said Andy Wong, Asia Pacific director of Avnet’s RF and Microwave Product Business Group.

“Our strategy is to develop a flexible platform — a Bluetooth starter kit to enable application developers to start integrating Bluetooth technology into their end products. We released our first starter kit in early April for customers to begin Bluetooth development activities. The product was ideal for our customers to develop host-based applications at a competitive price, with fast turnaround time.”

Avnet’s Design Services and RF Design teams create wireless solutions ranging from component evaluation and recommendation to software core writing and turnkey solutions.

According to company officials, Avnet has become a one-stop distributor of components and integrated solutions for Bluetooth technology as a result of using its extensive knowledge of electronic components to undertake additional roles at independent design houses.

It is also developing strategic partnerships with key Bluetooth technology suppliers in Asia.

“We are committed to working closely with our suppliers to provide innovative and leading edge wireless solutions,” said Harley Feldberg, Avnet’s Asia Pacific president. “We are helping our customers to adopt Bluetooth technology into their end products with these initiatives.”

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