Bluetooth wireless technology is continuously evolving, with each specification providing new and innovative ways for devices to connect and communicate. In this Tech Talks session, Silicon Labs field applications engineer, Claudio Filho, describes the evolution of Bluetooth specifications 5, 5.1 and 5.2, as well as advantages and best use cases for each version. Click here to watch the entire Bluetooth Evolution session and register now for future Tech Talks. Highlights from Claudio’s presentation are below.
Key Features of Bluetooth Specifications 5, 5.1 and 5.2
The release of Bluetooth 5 brought faster data rates and lower power consumption to the wireless market. An optional 2M PHY cut packet transmission time in half, and two long-range PHYs extended device range up to four times that of Bluetooth 4.x versions. An enhanced advertisement configuration means that Bluetooth 5 has eight times the capacity of its earlier generation.
Bluetooth 5.1 provided new direction finding capabilities with < 1 m accuracy, GATT caching, randomized advertising, and periodic advertising sync. These features combined to provide faster and lower power connections, reduced packet collision, improved packet error rates (PER), and better power management. While Bluetooth 4.x supports Bluetooth mesh and beacons (used for asset tracking), the scalability of the 5.1 version makes it ideal for these use cases.
Key advantages of Bluetooth 5.2, the latest version, include more efficient connections with lower power and communication of time bound data. Low Energy (LE) isochronous channels enable audio transmission over multiple devices and LE power control optimizes power for transmitters. These features result in better coexistence with other wireless devices in the 2.4 GHz frequency range and an improved experience for users.
Silicon Labs Bluetooth Solutions
Offering full software stacks, system-on-chip (SoC) devices and pre-certified modules, our Bluetooth solutions help you get to market faster, even with little RF development experience. Our EFR32BG21 (BG21) devices include a host of security features and are ideal solutions for connected lighting, gateways and smart plugs.
For battery-powered devices with direction finding requirements, we recommend EFR32BG22 (BG22). It is one of the lowest power Bluetooth devices on the market and can operate 5-10 years on a coin cell battery. We invite you to attend our Virtual Workshop in May, 2020, to get hands-on experience with your own BG22 Thunderboard.