USB 3.0 isn’t the only new computing standard we’ll be getting used to this year. The Bluetooth spec marches forward to version 3.0 as well. Broadcom, a maker of wireless radio chipsets and other internal bits, says it’s ready for the Bluetooth 3.0 now, both from a hardware and software perspective. Broadcom’s BCM2070, BCM2075, BCM43225 and BCM4325 chips, along with the BCM94312 half mini-card Bluetooth + WLAN solution are already certified for Bluetooth 3.0 + HS, which stands for “high speed.” And the company’s BTE-Mobile 3.15.2, BTW 5.6, and BTW 6 software also meet the spec. So what are the big benefits of these advances? Broadcom sums it up:
- 10 times the transmission speed over previous Bluetooth specifications.
- Expanded capabilities for remote control applications featuring Unicast Connectionless Data (UCD) functionality that enables low power operation and reduced latency for CE remote control applications.
- Enhanced powerful security capabilities with support for the new Read Encryption Key Size feature that allows Bluetooth applications to ensure an appropriate level of communications security.
Put in simpler terms: Bluetooth 3.0 + HS brings faster, more secure wireless transactions and better power management. One of the key features is the speedier transfer rates, which can leverage 802.11n Wi-Fi for up to 24 Mbps of data throughput. That sounds eerily similar to the Bluetooth over Wi-Fi demos we saw this time last year — and in fact, the Bluetooth SIG specifically mentions “Alternate MAC/PHY,” which was the method used in last year’s demo. You shouldn’t have to wait long for the new Bluetooth features — Broadcom indicates that it’s already shipping in some PCs and smartphones.
Related Research: “Cool, Calm and Connected: Design Principles for Connected Objects“