Bluetooth Version 4.0 to Feature Low Energy Technology

Low energy technology in the latest core specification of Bluetooth Version 4.0 is intended to spread Bluetooth's applicability to watches, medical devices and mobile phones, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) said.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced the formal adoption of Bluetooth Core Specification Version 4.0, with the hallmark feature, low energy technology. The SIG said this final step in the adoption process signals to Bluetooth SIG members that the organzation's Qualification Program is now open for qualification of all Bluetooth product types to the Version 4.0 specification. The organization is a trade association founded in 1998 comprised of leaders in the wireless, telecommunications, computing, automotive, industrial automation and network industries, including Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia and Toshiba.
Bluetooth, a wireless technology that is the global short-range wireless standard for personal connectivity of a range of electronic devices, is building on its low power qualities with the latest version, which SIG said would require new hardware. The organization said the first end user products would be qualified sometime this year.
"The finalization of Bluetooth low energy wireless technology within the core specification is a monumental achievement," said Michael Foley, executive director of Bluetooth SIG. "Bluetooth wireless technology can now, with the hard work of our members and our world-class qualification program, really do it all."
The organization said Bluetooth low energy single-mode chips consume less power than dual-mode chips and are optimized to run off a coin cell battery for a year or more. Proximity, Internet connected devices, consumer healthcare devices, sports and fitness products, watches, smart energy and home automation devices, and remote controls are the anticipated key use cases for this new version of the specification, SIG noted.
In a report out last week from West Technology Research Solutions, the opportunity for Bluetooth low energy technology, the hallmark feature of Version 4.0, was found to be considerable. "Bluetooth low energy will be a significant contributor to the overall wireless sensor network market, representing nearly half of all shipments in 2015," said the research firm's principal analyst Kirsten West. "The advantage to this new protocol is that it is totally optimized for low power battery operation."
Bluetooth SIG members can perform interoperability testing utilizing this adopted Bluetooth core specification at the SIG's 37th testing event, UnPlugFest (UPF) 37. This UPF is scheduled for October in Barcelona. The SIG posted a notice on its Web site saying members are encouraged to use this opportunity to test their devices against the new Bluetooth v4.0 implementations as well as against current Bluetooth devices from the organization's device library.
For intensive hands-on testing and qualification training, Bluetooth SIG members can take part in ATLAS, the Advanced Training Lab and Services program offered by the Bluetooth SIG, the organization said. The one-week training program at the Bluetooth SIG labs in Kirkland, Wash., offers participants to build their development knowledge and testing and qualification expertise for Bluetooth technology.