Bluetooth 3.0 Announced

Posted by Sam Churchill on

The Bluetooth SIG has formally adopted Bluetooth Core Specification Version 3.0 + High Speed (HS), or Bluetooth 3.0. This latest iteration of the popular short-range wireless technology provides the same wireless Bluetooth experience – faster.

Bluetooth 3.0 gets its speed from the 802.11 radio protocol. Bluetooth is used to create the pairing between two devices, but the data transfer itself is handed off to Wi-Fi. That provides increased throughput to around 24 Mbps. In addition, mobile devices including Bluetooth 3.0 + HS will realize increased power savings due to enhanced power control built in.

In Tokyo this week, Bluetooth low energy technology was also announced. It aims to attract developers from the sports, fitness and health care industries.

Mike Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, says, ”Utilizing the 802.11 radio was a natural choice as it provides efficiencies for both our members and consumers – members get more function out of the two radios they are already including in devices, and consumers with Bluetooth 3.0 + HS products will get faster exchange of information without changing how they connect. We are excited to expand the possibilities of the PAN.”

SIG Director Foley explained to Dailywireless that it’s for Personal Area Networking, and device-to-device connectivity, not Wi-Fi applications like multi-user networking hubs or connecting your PC to a television. Next up is a prototype phase, said Dr. Foley, then it’s on to an actual chip implementation.

This newest version of Bluetooth technology builds on the inherent qualities of the current 2.1 + EDR version. That version made pairing different Bluetooth devices easier and more reliable among other features. As with all versions of the Bluetooth specification, v3.0 + HS provides backwards compatibility with the current spec. Once products reach the market, the easiest way for consumers to learn which devices are compatible with other Bluetooth enabled devices is to visit the Bluetooth Gadget Guide.

Consumers can expect to move large data files of videos, music and photos between their devices, without the need for cables and wires. Some applications consumers will experience include:

  • Wirelessly bulk synchronize music libraries between PC and music player or phone
  • Bulk download photos to a printer or PC
  • Send video files from camera or phone to computer or television

The Bluetooth SIG’s formal adoption of the specification is only the first step in the product lifecycle. News out today from wireless chip manufacturers and Bluetooth SIG member companies Atheros, Broadcom and CSR shows the second step – getting silicon solutions to device manufacturers – is already underway. End products for consumers are expected to be in the market in 9 to 12 months.

This new specification includes several major enhancements:

  • Generic Alternate MAC/PHY (AMP)
  • 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL)
  • Generic Test Methodology
  • Enhanced Power Control
  • Unicast Connectionless Data

On March 16, 2009, the WiMedia Alliance announced it will transfer all current and future specifications to Bluetooth, and the Wireless USB Forums. After completion of the technology transfer, the WiMedia Alliance will cease operations.

More than eight new Bluetooth enabled products are qualified every working day and more than 19 million Bluetooth units are shipping per week, says the Bluetooth SIG, with over two billion Bluetooth devices in the marketplace.

The Bluetooth SIG includes Promoter group companies Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba, along with over 11,000 Associate and Adopter member companies. The Bluetooth SIG, Inc. headquarters are located in Bellevue, Washington.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Tuesday, April 21st, 2009 at 10:16 am .

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