Qualcomm translates USB for phones

Cell phone chipmaker Qualcomm announced Monday it is licensing technology that lets cell phones connect directly to printers, cameras and PCs or any other device with a universal serial bus port. The San Diego-based company plans to incorporate so-called USB On-The-Go technology into the chips it sells to handset manufacturers, but didn't disclose any additional details about product plans.

Qualcomm licensed USB On-The-Go technology from Irvine, Calif.-based developer TransDimension. Terms of the deal were not released. The chips will be part of the newer generations of cell phones, which have vastly improved processing power in comparison with the older generations of wireless devices, Qualcomm indicated.

"Wireless handsets will (give) access to a multitude of existing...devices--including accessories such as printers, digital cameras, keyboards, audio players and CD-ROMs," Qualcomm said in a statement. A representative did not release additional details.

USB On-The-Go is a standard way for mobile devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants to link directly with--and swap data directly with--any other device that has a USB slot. Found inside TransDimension's chips, the standard was set up by the USB Implementers Forum, the group that created USB.

Most handhelds and other gadgets currently use standard USB, which means they have to be plugged into a PC in order for files to be downloaded from them. Only then are users able to move data to another device, uploading the files from the PC, which acts as a middleman between the two devices. USB On-The-Go cuts out the need for a PC.

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News source: C|net

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