Ericsson - the company that invented and heavily promoted Bluetooth wireless technology - has decided to discontinue its design and development of new Bluetooth systems for the semiconductor industry, and disband its Bluetooth research and development unit, it has announced.

It's not a cry of defeat, says the company, it's just that Bluetooth is everywhere and there's no money to be made in new Bluetooth technology. "We have decided to stop developing and licensing new Bluetooth hardware to the semiconductor industry because we don't see this business as prosperous enough in the long term," said Johan Akesson, vice president of marketing, at the unit, which was spun off four years ago.

"Bluetooth is now a mature standard, and numerous semiconductor manufacturers are supplying Bluetooth products in large volumes," said Akesson. Ericsson will continue to support existing Bluetooth customers, including Philips and STMicroelectronics NV, but will not seek new ones, according to Akesson.

The Swedish company will also continue Bluetooth software technology development through its Ericsson Mobile Platforms subsidiary, and remains committed to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which consists of several companies promoting Bluetooth technology, said Akesson.

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