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Bluetooth low energy brings revolutionary opportunities

Posted: 21 Mar 2011     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth  low energy  mobile  connectivity 

To further build on this capability, if Bluetooth low energy is integrated into watches, lights, central heating thermostats, heart rate monitors, microwaves, even running shoes, as predicted by the Bluetooth SIG, then people will be able to coordinate all of these applications through a single 'remote control'—their mobile phone. For most people, a mobile phone is almost always within arm's reach, if you want to control the lights and heating you'll reach for your mobile.

Bluetooth low energy

Bluetooth low energy comes in two flavours: dual-mode and single mode. Dual mode is a device where Bluetooth low energy sits alongside classic Bluetooth (by classic Bluetooth we mean here the traditional 1Mbit/s or v2.0 Enhanced Data Rate 3Mbit/s variants of Bluetooth). A mobile phone is an obvious home for a dual-mode device, since the mobile phone user needs access to streaming music from their mobile phone to stereo Bluetooth headset. But the inclusion of Bluetooth low energy functionality, in a product such as the CSR8000 connectivity platform, will boost the potential for the mobile phone to take on a role of control and communicating with a huge new range of Bluetooth low energy devices. And that's where single-mode comes in. Single-mode devices such as CSR µEnergy range of single-mode Bluetooth low energy products are very small, and extremely low power, to enable the creation of a new market for tiny, cost-effective and power-efficient wireless consumer products.

Due to its relatively simple architecture, devices with built-in single-mode Bluetooth low energy can be made equal to the size of the coin cells that power them, and only a few millimetres thicker. Bluetooth low energy allows manufacturers to design tiny devices with low production costs. And as Bluetooth low energy's overall architecture shares much of classic Bluetooth technology, adding-in Bluetooth low energy to a Bluetooth chip to create a dual-mode device involves a minimal cost-add.

Depending on the application, Bluetooth low energy can be 20 to 100 times more power-efficient than classic Bluetooth and that has significant implications in terms of opening up new applications to wireless connectivity. Therefore, many applications featuring Bluetooth low energy can run off a small coin cell battery for up to ten years, meaning that the battery of a device may essentially last for the entire life of the product it powers. Instead of talking about 'battery-life' we will find ourselves talking about 'batteries for life' and CSR believes that the introduction of Bluetooth low energy to consumer electronics will signal the 'death' of the battery as we know it.


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