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Bluetooth wireless technology in the home

by R. Shepherd

The Bluetooth™* wireless technology is a cable replacement technology that exploits the wireless interconnectivity that is possible with radio. Bluetooth chips are already available and early applications include cordless connections from mobile phones to laptop computers and wireless headsets. Even if only 10% of mobile phones and computers were to incorporate Bluetooth chips, then the technology would achieve the critical mass necessary for chip prices to fall below $5 and for the standard to become firmly established in the market-place. It is expected that Bluetooth products will be present in the home, where applications will include: conversion of the humble cellphone to a short-range cordless handset; providing a link from a PC to the Internet; home automation and cable replacement; toys and white goods. This paper introduces the Bluetooth wireless technology and its applications and provides a concise description of its air interface and protocol stack.

1 Introduction

During the latter part of the 1990s, the global success of mobile communications was evident, its principal use being for voice transmission. However, industry analysts were aware that the trend that was occurring in fixed telecommunication networks, namely for data to replace voice as the dominant traffic, would subsequently be seen in cellular systems.

Unlike voice, there is no single 'killer' application that uses data. Most common applications for data run on some form of general-purpose computing platform and for use outside of the home or office there tends to be a plethora of such platforms, laptops and personal digital assistants (PDAs) being the most common. In contrast, there is a single application for voice and this allows a user terminal to be designed that is optimised for this application.

Mobile computing, as the data communications part of cellular telecommunications has become known, utilises the mobile cellular telephone as a data modem. Although there are a number of combined mobile voice and data terminals available, they have not to date proved to be a success in the mass market. It is anticipated that a significant majority of users will carry one or more data terminals in addition to their mobile cellular telephone and these will need to be interconnected. Also, the mobile cellular voice terminal itself is now often accompanied by a voice accessory, the headset, which needs connecting. *The BLUETOOTH trademarks are owned by Bluetooth SIC, Inc., USA.

There are three possibilities for providing these various interconnections: wires, infra-red links, and wireless links. It is the goal of the I31uetooth wireless technology 10 achieve 'freedom from wires' by using radio links for these connections.

The Bluetooth wireless technology has been developed by an industry-based association, the Blue1001h Special Interest Group (SIG). Initially the Group comprised five companies-IBM, Intel, Ericsson, Nokia and Toshibabut by the end of 1999 this number had increased to nine through the addition of 3Com, Motorola, Microsoft and Lucent. By December 2000 the Bluetooth SIG had over 2000 members.

The Bluetooth standard is an open standard published by the Bluetooth SIG. It includes an air-interface specification, a host-to-Bluetooth-device interface specification-the 'host controller interface'-and interoperability profiles. The profiles are used as part of a qualification programme that the Bluetooth SIC has established to assure interoperability between equipment from different vendors.

To be attractive to the mass market, the Bluetooth wireless technology needs to be both easy to use and cost competitive with the cable systems it is replacing. The cost-competitive requirement has led to the view that Bluetooth terminals should cost less than $5.

In developing the Bluetooth specification a number of goals were identified for the air interface design:

• global applicability

• low cost

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Fig. 1 Combining piconets to form a scatternet

• low power

• robust operation

• high aggregate capacity

• flexible usage

• multiple simultaneous links

• mixed voice and data.

2 Choice of spectrum

The choice of the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band at 2·4 GHz enabled the goals of global applicability, low power and high aggregate capacity to be met. As it is a licence-exempt band, consumers can use the equipment after a single transaction at the point of sale. However, Bluetooth terminals do not have exclusive use of the band and therefore there is no protection from other users in the same band; both IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAW and HomeRF2 products, as well as proprietary equipment, use the same bane!.

Although the 2·4 GHz ISM band is available globally, when the Bluetooth standard was first developed there were some variations in the exact frequencies available. This resulted in the standard having a 79 channel version and also a 23 channel version for use in those countries where the full ISM band was not available. At the time of writing, all those countries where originally only a reduced spectrum was available have announced that they will make the full ISM band available.

3 Key system features

Piconets and scatternets

Although the concept of 'cable-replacement' might create a vision of point-to-point communication, the Bluetooth SIG has exploited the fact that wireless devices can communicate with other devices that are within range. A network of communicating Bluetooth devices is referred to as a 'piconet'.

The topography of a piconet is a star configuration: 'slave' devices within the net communicate with a 'master' and therefore must be within range of that master.

Bluetooth devices can be either masters or slaves. Any Bluetooth device can be the master; the concept is not tied to a specific entity. The master is often the device that initiated the first connection but the master of a specific piconet can be changed dynamically during the existence of that piconet.

Several piconets may be combined to form a 'scatternet', This involves Bluetooth devices being members of more than one piconet, for example as a master in one and as a slave in another, as shown in Fig. 1. Although all devices are capable of acting both as a master and as a slave, they cannot be a master and a slave at exactly the same time-they must switch between modes.

Within a piconet, there can be up to seven active slaves.

This is a restriction of the air inter face, which uses a threebit field to identify the active member. In addition, substantially more slaves can be 'parked'-they remain part of the piconet but are not currently active and have no resources allocated to them.

Ad hoc networking

The Bluetooth specification provides mechanisms for Bluetooth devices to discover each other, exchange identities and establish communications with each other, all without prior knowledge of each other. This is referred to as 'ad hoc' networking. An example of its application is where a number of people are around a conference table; information can be shared and presentation material exchanged in a very simple way.

Ad hoc networking is further facilitated by the Bluetooth Service Discovery Protocol (SDP). which allows Bluetooth devices to discover what services are available or to find a Bluetooth device that supports a specific service. This is an important feature given the dynamic nature of ad hoc networking. It allows a Bluetooth device to find a specific service without prior knowledge of the Bluetooth address of that service. For example, a laptop computer could search for a printer service when it is being used at a new location.

A more private operational scenario is where the

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devices communicating with each other form a 'closed' group. An example is where a single person wants their mobile phone, laptop and I'DA to be in communication but does not want other devices within range to participate in any way. In contrast to this 'closed' networking, ad hoc networking is 'open'.

Security

To provide privacy, a number of security features are supported: encryption is used as a safeguard against eavesdropping, and authentication is used for verification of identity. By exchanging (private) keys, trusted relationships may be established between devices. For example, a headset can be 'paired' with a mobile phone by entering into each device a PIN (personal identification number), from which a (private) key is then derived for use in authentication. Subsequently the headset needs only to be authenticated to verify its identity-the PIN does not need to be entered each time the user wishes to use the headset with the phone.

Over-the-air encryption is included within the Bluetooth specification, the encryption key being derived from the private keys used during the authentication process. The encryption key length is negotiated between master and slave for a particular session. It can be considered to have a default value of 64 bits, which can be increased up to 128 bits. This is seen as a future proofing of the basic algorithms to allow upgrading to greater security by the use of longer keys. It also permits the use of a shorter key where local regulations so demand.

4 Air interface format

I3luetooth operates as a 79 channel frequency-hopping system in the frequency range 2·4000-2·4835 GHz with a channel spacing of 1 MHz. The hopping rate is 1600 hops per second, and the hopping sequence, which is different for each piconet, is a function of both the master's Bluetooth device address and its Bluetooth clock. The Bluetooth device address is a 48 bit address that is uniquely assigned to each transceiver. Frequency hopping is used to minimise the effects of interference from other users within the same band.

The master's Bluctooth clock provides the system timing for the piconet: the slaves synchronise to it, maintaining an offset to their own internal system clocks. Each Bluetooth device has its own native clock, which is derived from a 28 bit counter fed from a 3·2 kllz oscillator having an accuracy of ±20 ppm. The Bluetooth clock has a time period of 312·5 us, and the system clock has a time period of 625 us. All clocks are freerunning. In addition to frequency hopping, the clock is used for the time division slot structure and for encryption.

The modulation is Gaussian filtered frequency shift keying (GFSK) with a bandwidth-time product of BT = 0·5 and a modulation index of 0·28-0·35. The modulation bit rate is 1 Mbit/s. A 10 Mbit/s version, known as radio 2, is currently being considered by the Bluetooth SIG.

Three classes of Bluetooth deviee have been defined, the maximum transmitter powers being 100 mW (20 dBm) , 2·5 mW (4 dlim), and 1 mW (0 dbrn) for class 1, 2, and 3 devices, respectively. The nominal power of a class 2 device is 1 mW (0 dlsm), The nominal value provides some indication of the expected performance, whereas the maximum value is that allowed in the test specification. Power control is expected to be applied for class 1 devices down to 0 dBm but is not required for class 2 and class 3 devices.

The receiver sensitivity is -70 dBm. This corresponds to the receive power at 10 m [rom a 0 dllm transmitter, the carrier-to-interference ratio being 21 dB at this point and the interferer being the assumed noise within the receiver. In practice, receivers generally achieve a better noise figure, and so the range can be greater. In the presence of interferers, the effective range of transmission is reduced, the carrier-to-interference ratio of 21 dB being preserved at the limit of operation.

The I3luetooth air interface operation is basically that of a slotted time division duplex system in which each packet is transmitted on a different hop frequency, shown asf(k),/(k+ 1) andf(k+2) in Fig. 2. There is a 220 us guard time between the end of reception ofa packet and the start of transmission of the next packet.

A packet nominally covers a single slot, but can be extended up to five slots. Where a packet covers three or five slots, a frequency hop does not occur until the end of the complete packet-a hop does not occur at the end of each slot.

The air interface supports two basic bearer types.

Asynchronous ConnectionLcss (ACL) bearers use packet switching and a polling access scheme and provide asynchronous, (ajsymmetric services. Synchronous Connection Oriented (SCO) bearers are circuit switched, use slot reservation at fixed intervals and provide symmetric synchronous services. Typically, ACL bearers are used for data and SCO bearers for speech audio

Fig. 2 Btuetooth time division duptex slot structure

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Fig. 3 Example showing how the Bluetooth slot structure supports mixed packet types within a piconet

services. The air interface supports a mix of packet types, as illustrated by the example in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3 also illustrates how the time division duplex slot structure is organised for communication from a master to several slaves within a piconet. The master starts its transmission in even-numbered slots. The different slaves start their transmissions in odd numbered slots, but under the control of the master. The slots for SCQ are reserved, the packets being transmitted at regular intervals. The ACL links can be established by the master on a per-slot basis to any slave, including any slave already engaged in a SCQ link.

As already discussed, packet types of differing payloads can be provided 'by joining together consecutive slots. A further degree of variability is possible by the particular choice of forward error control (FEC). Table 1 summarises the bearer services available for ACL and SCO packets. The maximum data rate refers to the situation where the specified packet type is being used, either in both directions (symmetric) or in one direction, with a single-slot packet being used in the reverse direction (asymmetric). In all cases the maximum data rate has to be less than the channel transmission

bit rate of 1 Mbit/ s.

Fig. 4 shows the Bluetooth packet structure. It comprises an access code, a packet header and a payload. Note that it is not a byte-aligned structure.

The access code is used for synchronisation, DC offset compensation and identification. It comprises a preamble, a synchronisation word and a trailer. A number of different access codes have been defined. The channel access code (CAC) is derived from the Bluetooth device address of the master of a piconet and is used to identify that piconet. The device access code (DAC) is derived from the Bluetooth device address of a device and is used when paging that device. The inquiry access codes (IAC) are used for inquiry (i.e, to find the Bluetooth address of a neighbouring device, see Section 5); there are a number of these for both general and dedicated (limited) inquiries. In all cases the synchronisation word is calculated from the Bluetooth device address or, in the case of the IAC, a specialform ofthe address, and it is this unique synhronisation word that is used for addressing.

The packet header contains the active member address (AM_ADDR), packet type information, flow control, automatic packet retransmission control, sequence numbering (SEQN) and header error control (REC). The header bits are encoded with a 1/3 rate FEC (forward error correcting) code, resulting in a header of size 54 bits.

The active member address is set to a number in the range 1-7 for active slaves and is assigned by the master. It is used for communication in both the master-to-slave and slave-to-master directions. The value 0 is reserved for broadcasts.

The TYPE field indicates one of the packet types shown for ACL and SCQ bearers in Table 1.

The FLQW field is used for

Fig.4 Bluetooth air interface frame structure

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Table 1: Summary of ACL and SCQ bearer service packet types

A(L packets
DM1
DH1
DM3 2
DH3 2
DM5 2
DH5 2
AUX1
5(0 packets
HV1 na
HV2 na
HV3 na
DV 1D 0-17 2/3 yes 108·8 108·8 108·8
0-27 no yes 172·8 172-8 172·8
0-120 2/3 yes 256·0 384·0 54·4
0-180 no yes 384·0 576·0 86-4
0-224 2/3 yes 286·7 477-8 36·3
0-338 no yes 432·6 723·0 57·6
0-29 no no 185·6 185·6 185·6 10 113 no 64·0 na na
20 2/3 no 64·0 na na
30 no no 64·0 na na
10+(0-9) D 2/3 D yes D 64·0 + 64·0 D na na asynchronous connectionless (ACL) flow control. ARQN is an acknowledgement bit (1 = ACK, 0 = NAK). SEQN is a modulo 2 sequential packet number. The HEC generating algorithm uses the Upper Address Part (UAP) of the Bluetooth device address of the master as an initialisation value.

5 Establishing and maintaining a piconet

To establish a piconet a Bluetooth device will either inquire or page. The inquiry mode is used when the address is not known; paging is used when the paging device knows the Bluetooth device address of the required unit. Although the mechanisms for inquiry and paging are similar, they are considered as separate mechanisms within the Bluctooth specification. Inquiry is used to find the Eluetooth device addresses of neighbouring devices, whereas paging is used to connect with a specific device. Even though a neighbouring device may respond to an inquiry, it is then up to the controlling application of the inquiring device subsequently to initiate a connection with that device, i.e. it is not automatically managed by the Bluetooth protocol.

Devices will only respond to paging or inquiry messages if they are in page scan mode or inquiry scan mode, respectively. In page mode a device scans for a synchronisation word that corresponds to the use of the device access code (DAC); in inquiry mode it scans for a synchronisation word that corresponds to an inquiry access code (lAC). The DAC is derived from the Eluetooth device address ofthe paged unit; the lAC is one of a set of reserved values.

The access code is also used to determine the subset of the 79 channel frequencies and the frequency-hopping sequence used by both the paging (or inquiring) device and the scanning device. A paging (or inquiring) device pages over 16 frequencies at 3200 hops per second,

whereas a scanning device changes frequency only every 1·28 seconds. The scanning device will be on one of a subset of 32 frequencies from the available 79 channels. The paging or inquiring device will change the set of 16 frequencies at intervals, so that eventually it should match a frequency that the scanning device is currently monitoring.

The response mechanisms to inquiry and page scans are not the same. In inquiry mode there is only a slave response. The slave responds with a link controller message providing details of its Bluetooth device address, class of device and dock. In page mode the master receives a link controller message as for inquiry mode, but then enters a master response mode whereby it passes to the slave details of the master's Bluetooth address, class of device and clock.

Whilst communication between Bluetooth devices is based on the use of the Bluetooth device address, there is a facility whereby the user of a device can set the local name of a device to something of their choosing. The user friendly name of a device can be read over the Bluetooth air interface by another Bluetooth device, once the Bluetooth device address has been identified. Thus a device can be readily identified to a remote user, e.g. as 'Simon's laptop', and users are not required to learn a complete set of linguistic skills based on 48 bit Eluetooth device addresses. The user friendly name is referred to as the local or the remote name within the specifications, depending on whether it refers to the local Bluetooth device or a remote device. It can be up to 248 bytes long'.

To support the maintenance of a piconet there are additional modes of operation, which have been introduced with a view to saving power and spectrum. The park mode is used when a slave is no longer actively transmitting or receiving data but is to remain in the piconet and thus remain synchronised to the master. In the sniff mocle the slave also remains synchronised to the

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Fig. 5 Bluetooth protocol architecture

master, but the duty cycle of its listen activity can be reduced. A further difference between the park and sniff modes is that in the sniff mode the Bluetooth device retains its active member address, whereas in park mode it does not. This allows a single piconet to support in excess of seven slave devices by placing the members that are not currently active into park mode.

Additionally a slave with an active connection can be put into a hold mode. In this case the ACL link is suspended (held') for a period of time determined by the master. The slave retains the active member address and after the hold period it resynchronises to the master. Hold mode is typically used when a master is establishing a connection to a new slave device that is joining the piconet.

6 Protocol architecture

The I31uetooth specification has adopted a layered model for the protocol stack, see Fig. 5. The following points are noteworthy. The Host Controller Interface (HCn is a defined interface within the protocol stack.The Bluetooth specification allows a physical separation between the link manager and the higher layers at the HCI, which is common in most Bluetooth implementations. The HCI supports the transmission of SCO (audio) and ACL data types across it. In addition, the HCI provides a management interface for control of the link manager and baseband, using the specified Hcr commands and events. L2CAP, the Logical Link Control and Adaptation Protocol, is a multiplexing protocol that supports a number of

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different protocols above it. The Service Discovery Protocol (SDP) is one such protocol, but this protocol is itself a feature of Bluetooth in that it provides a service to other Bluetooth devices to allow them to search for application services on a device. The protocol layers are described in a little more detail below.

The protocol architecture also makes use of the Infra-Red Data Association's Object Exchange Protocol (OBEX)3. OBEX was developed as a protocol to exchange data objects across an infrared link. It is located in the architecture above RFCOMM. Fig. 6 illustrates the protocol architecture when OBEX is included; there are numerous applications that use RFCOMM and that do not need to include OBEX within the architecture. It also illustrates how the protocol architecture may omit the components that are not required to support a specific application, which in this example is vCard, an application that defines a standardised format for the electronic representation of business card information.

Baseband

The baseband section of the Bluetooth specification includes the air interface packet framing and link control. It provides the 'lower layer' functionality required to establish and to

maintain piconets, including some messaging.

These messages are transmitted using the link control packets. This functionality is placed at such a low level as it is closely coupled with the frequency-hopping sequence, which is derived from the Bluetooth clock and the Bluetooth address of a device.

Link manager

The link manager is responsible for link set-up and control. This is achieved by the Link Management Protocol (LMP). The link manager assumes that the link control provides a guaranteed delivery mechanism for the IMP messages. It provides the protocol support for a number of procedures, including:

• authentication

• encryption control

• link physical parameter control, e.g. power control, timing accuracy

• master-to-slave switching (and vice versa).

Host controller inter/ace

The HCr is a specified interface within the protocol stack that can be implemented over a physical transport mechanism. Within the Bluetooth specification+ the choice of physical transport mechanism is left as implementation dependent, with three physical transports provided as standard: RS232, UART and USB.

The HCI supports ACt, SCO and HCI command and event logical channels.

Both ACL and SCO packets are supported bidirectionally. The control information is less symmetrical:

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the HCI is driven from the host, with commands being sent to the host controller. The host controller may send events to the host. The commands that can be sent from the host fall into a number of categories:

• link control, for setting up inquiry and connections

• link policy, for controlling modes such as park and sniff

• host controller and baseband, for reading and writing various parameter values, such as timer values

• informational parameters, for reading parameters, such as the local Bluetooth device address, that cannot be written locally

• status parameters, such as RSSI (received signal strength indicator) levels

• testing, for placing the device into a test mode.

Commands sent from the host to the host controller are responded to immediately with the result of the request, if it can be returned by the host controller from information stored locally. Otherwise, the host controller responds with a command status event, indicating that the request is pending. This is used where an over-the-air operation is involved. A further event will be sent to the host once the information requested has been supplied by the remote device.

Flow control is specified across the HCr for commands and events, and independently for SCO and ACL data. Flow control is provided for in both directions within the specification, however it is only mandated in one direction. This is a reflection of the assumed base case where the host controller has physically fewer resources than the host and thus potentially is more likely to be 'flooded' with data.

The HCI provides for a mechanism whereby the higher layers of the protocol stack can delegate the decision on whether to accept connections to the link manager and whether to switch on filters at the link manager. This is to reduce the volume of signalling traffic that is sent across the HCr.

L2CAP

The purpose of the Logical Link Control and Adaptation Layer Protocol (L2CAP) is to provide connection-oriented and connectionless data services to higher layer protocols. To achieve this L2CAP provides the following functionality:

• multiplexing of higher layer protocols

• establishment, maintenance and clearing of logical connections for connection-oriented services

• segmentation and re-assembly services to allow packets of up to 64 kilobytes to be transported between L2CAP entities.

Additional features include support for groups and QoS (quality of service) negotiation for connections.

Service Discovery Protocol

The Service Discovery Protocol (SDP) allows l3luetooth devices to discover what services are available on a device. It has a client-server architecture that uses the Service Discovery Database at the server. The Service Discovery Database (or SDP server) contains a number of Service Records, and each Service Record contains attributes of the service. One of the attributes is the Service Record Handle, which uniquely identifies each service record within the SDP server.

The SDP supports both searching [or services and browsing. Searching allows a client to search for a specific service, which is subsequently identified by the Service Record Handle attribute. Browsing allows a client to discover what services are supported; these are identified by the service attributes, including the Service Record Handle. Once a service has been identified, its attributes can be requested using the Service Record Handle. The attributes include information on how to connect to the service via the protocol stack, e.g, the RFCOMM server channel number with which the service is registered.

The Service Discovery Protocol is run over L2CAP.

RFCOMM

RFCOMM (see Fig. 7) is a protocol that provides an emulation of serial ports over the L2CAP protocol. It is based on the ETSI GSM mobile telephone specification TS 07.10". The concept is basically to allow a laptop, or other computing device, to connect to, say, a GSM phone, which is used as a radio modem for remotely accessing data services via the GSM network. The emulation of

Fig. 6 Example of the application of the Bluetooth protocol architecture to support vCard

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Fig. 7 Overview of RFCOMM architecture

port interlace, e.g. VCOMM

RS-232 serial ports by RFCOMM includes the transfer of the state of non-data circuits, for example Clear to Send (CTS).

RFCOMM supports two device types. A Type 1 device is a communication end point, such as a computer. A Type 2 device is a part of a communication segment, for example a GSM phone acting as a radio modem.

Communication between two Type 1 devices is possible with RFCOMM. Within the Bluetooth specification this is used for services such as object exchange, for example where business card information is passed between two devices.

RFCOMM emulates up to 60 serial ports between two devices.

Telephony Control Specification (rCS)

Telephony Control is an adaptation layer that enables Q.931 (ISDN) call control services to be supported via L2CAP. It provides synchronisation between the call control and the SCO service used to transport the telephony speech. It essentially provides the Layer 3 protocol functionality required to realise a Bluetooth cordless telephone.

Telephony Control provides the following services:

• call control

• group management

• connectionless signalling.

There is support for three supplementary services as defined by TCS: Calling Line Identity Presentation (CLIP), DTMF (dual tone multiple frequency) start and stop and register recall.

Call control provides the mechanism to signal between calling and called parties to establish, maintain and release voice calls. The establishment of the calls also

requires synchronisation internally between the call control instance and the called/calling parties. This is particularly important in a Bluetooth cordless base station, where more than one call may be possible concurrently. Call control operates over L2CAP.

Group management provides procedures for managing a group of devices, referred to as a wireless user group (WUG). The procedures include access rights management, configuration distribution and fast intermember access.

The connectionless service allows signalling information to be exchanged without the need to establish a TCS call. The concept of 'connection less' exists only at the TCS layer for the purposes of this service; it is actually realised via a connection-oriented L2CAP service across the air interface.

7 Interoperability, profiles and qualification

Interoperability is seen as crucial to the commercial success of Bluetooth wireless technology. This is particularly important given the likely nature of the supply of Bluetooth-enabled equipment, i.e. manufacturers will supply only one end of the Bluetooth link. The Bluetooth SIG has issued test plans and test specifications to support qualification testing to assure interopcrability .

Test facilities are provided by independent third-party test houses. In addition, manufacturers are able to undertake the testing themselves and submit the evidence to a Bluetooth Qualification Body for qualification.

Bluetooth equipment will be tested against one or more profiles. A profile is a set of requirements that are placed upon the implementers of a protocol stack to ensure that a common subset of the Bluetooth protocol is present for

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a particular application. The following profiles are defined in the Bluetooth Profiles Specification'':

• generic access

• service discovery application

• cordless telephony

• intercom

• headset

• serial port, including dial-up networking, fax, and LAN access using the Point to Point Protocol?

• object exchange profiles, including generic object exchange, object push, synchronisation and file transfer.

Future profiles are planned for:

• personal area networking

• printing

• imaging

• audio visual

• automotive (car)

• extended service discovery

• human interface device (HID)X

• local positioning

• 3G handsets (unrestricted digital information)",

8 Anticipated markets

At first, the main market for Bluetooth products will be cable replacement. It is anticipated that initially it will be the business community that will adopt the Bluetooth wireless technology, due in part to the end-user price being relatively high when products are first launched. In Europe, the application areas will be mobile phone cen tric, whereas in North America they are more likely to be PDA and PC centric, this being a reflection of the dominant consumer preferences in each region. In Japan, after mobile phones and PCs, digital cameras could incorporate Bluetooth wireless technology at an early date.

Once Bluetooth technology has become established and its cost has fallen, it is anticipated that it will find a significant number of other application areas, including data transfer within the home.

Bluetooth products in the home

There are likely to be at least four routes of entry to the home. One will be the humble cellphone. If this is fitted with Bluetooth wireless connectivity, then using it as a very short-range cordless handset within the home environment is easy. All that the user will require is a Bluetooth cordless base-station. However, it remains to be seen whether cellphone operators will tolerate such an addition to cellphones.

A second route is the Pc. A Bluetooth link to a modem or to a cellular phone could be used for data interconnectivity to the Internet via the public telecommunications network.

A third route is home automation and replacement of cables for doorbells, burglar alarms, etc. These applications will adopt Bluetooth wireless technology

Rob Shepherd received a PhD degree in 1987 from the Physics Department of the University of Kent at Canterbury. Since graduating Rob has worked on both military and commercial communications systems, including Bluetootb,. DECT, TETRA and Digital Short Range Radio systems. fie joined Cambridge Consultants in October 1994 to work on the design of real-time systems, and in particular digital communication. systems .. He. is currently Chief Technologist of Mezoe, the wireless products divisionof Cambridge Consultants Ltd.

Address: Cambridge Consultants. Ltd., Science Park, Milton Road, Cambridge, CB{ODW, UK.

e-mal1; Robert.Shepherdsscamcon.co.uk

because it meets the cost criteria, but it will largely be perceived as a means of avoiding the need to install wires within the home.

The fourth route into the home will be those applications and products that adopt the technology because it is established, low cost and easy to usc. This category includes toys and white goods.

9 Product availability

Bluetooth products are now available. The range of products available at the end of 2000, or planned for release early in 2001, includes: cordless headsets and the associated mobile phone dongle, PC Cards, LAN access ports, and PDA communication products. During 2001, it is expected that the number of manufacturers offering these products will rise significantly. New products will include domestic cordless telephones ancl Bluetooth modems. The Bluetooth website (www.R1uetooth.com) includes a list of qualified products,

References

1 ANSI/IEEE Std 802.11 - 1999 and ANSI/IEEE Std 802.11b -

1999

2 HomeRFTechnical Specification, see http://www.homerf.org 3 IrDA Object Exchange Protocol IrOBEX, see hrnx/zwwwirda.org 4 I31uetooth Core Specification, see http://www.bluetooth.com 5 'Digital cellular telecommunications system (Phase 2+);

Terminal Equipment to Mobile Station CfE-MS) multiplexer protocol (GSM 07.10 version 6.3.0 Release 1997)'. ETSI TS 101 369 v6.3.0 (1999-03)

6 Bluetoolh Profiles Specification, see http://www.bluetooth.com 7 SIMPSON, W. (Ed.): The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP),. STD 50, RFC 1661, July 1994

8 Human Interface Device Specification USB, see http:// www.usb.org

9 ITU-T Recommendation 1.230

©IEE:2001

First received 19th December 2000 and in final form 13th March 2001.

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