Bluetooth 3.0 Gets Speed Boost to 24Mb/s

Bluetooth 3.0 Enables High-Speed Close-Proximity Transfer

by Anton Shilov
04/21/2009 | 06:11 PM

Bluetooth has always been very useful, but rather slow close-proximity transfer technology. With the finalization of the Bluetooth version 3.0 it will take much less time to transfer music files, pictures and videos between various devices. Nevertheless, Bluetooth is still not a replacement for high-speed wired connection technologies.

 

Bluetooth 3.0 gets its speed from the 802.11 radio protocol, which is primarily known for powering Wi-Fi networks. The inclusion of the 802.11 Protocol Adaptation Layer (PAL) provides increased throughput of data transfers at the approximate rate of 24Mb/s. In addition, mobile devices including Bluetooth 3.0 will realize increased power savings due to enhanced power control built in.

“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,” said Michael Foley, Ph.D., executive director of the Bluetooth SIG.

This newest version of Bluetooth technology builds on the inherent qualities of the current 2.1 EDR version, including Simple Secure Pairing and built-in, automatic security. Bluetooth 3.0 HS provides backwards compatibility, enabling both the expansion and enhancement of this technology with every new specification release.

With the availability of Bluetooth version 3.0 HS, consumers can expect to move large data files of videos, music and photos between their own devices and the trusted devices of others, without the need for cables and wires.

While Bluetooth 3.0 HS will not be able to match TransferJet, which development is led by Sony Corp. and is supported by various consumer electronics companies, in terms of data transfer rate, as the latter can boast with impressive 375Mb/s, it clearly beats the competitor in terms of proximity: about ten meters versus about three centimeters.

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.