The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). Increased data rates and lower power consumption will improve the Bluetooth user experience when running multiple Bluetooth devices simultaneously and transferring large data files, as well as enabling longer battery life in mobile devices. The new specification defines speeds up to three times current levels.
“The motivation behind 2.0 + EDR was to improve existing usage scenarios which require increased data throughput, like streaming CD-quality audio, digital image transfer and laser printing,” said Dr. Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG. “Now manufacturers can update to the latest Bluetooth specification to fit the demands of consumers for their particular product – and the user will get a better Bluetooth experience.”
The main features of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 2.0 + EDR are:
3 times faster transmission speed (up to 10 times in certain cases)
Lower power consumption through reduced duty cycle
Simplification of multi-link scenarios due to more available bandwidth
Backwards compatible to earlier versions
Further improved BER (Bit Error Rate) performance
The Bluetooth SIG expects products based upon the specification to be available in 2005. Products from the PC industry are expected to be the first on the market with the new specification, followed by devices for audio and imaging use cases.
Also announced was a three-year roadmap outlining a series of enhancements to the Bluetooth specification. The SIG (Special Interest Group) believes that updates in the areas of performance, security, power optimization and usability will help maintain Bluetooth technology’s position and establish a role in new markets.
In 2004 the Bluetooth SIG focus is on Performance and Power Consumption. It is expected an increasing need in the coming years for the technology to transfer larger data-intensive files wirelessly between personal devices, handle streaming CD-quality audio and run multiple, simultaneous device connections. The 2004 section of the roadmap will help address the necessary speed and through-put for these types of Bluetooth applications. The initial step is the announced of Bluetooth Version 2.0 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate).
During 2005 the focus moves to Quality of Service (QoS), Security and Power Consumption, when the Bluetooth SIG will test and release a new version of the specification that will further enhance the usability of multi-device scenarios, improve overall security, and dramatically improve power consumption, enabling Bluetooth sensors to last for multiple years on a single battery. QoS enhancements address a need for more Bluetooth devices to be connected and run simultaneously, without latency or interference. With QoS, devices communicate their data transfer needs and traffic is prioritized accordingly. For example, Bluetooth technology will recognize that printing can handle a one second delay while a mouse or stereo headset cannot tolerate much latency. In terms of security this specification will enhance privacy during pairing by suggesting longer, alphanumeric pins, dramatically reducing the possibility for a security breach.
There will be an increase in the piconet maximum from seven slaves and one master to 255 devices plus master, which will make Bluetooth technology well-suited for sensor scenarios such as home security systems and industrial automation applications.
Finally, 2006 will see work on Multi-cast, Security and Performance. Multi-cast capabilities will allow the same message to be sent to multiple devices one time, simultaneously allowing for improved usability and power consumption in applications like multiplayer gaming, multiple stereo headphones and speakers. The Bluetooth SIG expects by then performance enhancements will increase the range of very low power Bluetooth enabled sensors to approximately 100 meters.