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Bluetooth Protocol (Part 1): Basics

and Working
Written By:

Bijal Parikh

Handheld devices like a cell phone, palmtop and laptop were rapidly becoming an integral part of our
daily lives. In most cases, these devices do not have compatible data communication interfaces, or, if
they do, the interface requires cumbersome cable connections and configuration procedures. Isn’t it
absolutely fantastic to connect your PC to share music, data and calendar info without using any wires?
Or to wirelessly access phone numbers on your PDA from your cell phone. Driving without holding the
handset makes it dramatically safer and easier. Accessing the internet, print files from your computer and
print photos taken from a digital camera without a single piece of wire lying in your office.

An obvious solution was to get rid of the cables and use short-range, wireless, inexpensive and universally
adopted by device vendors to facilitate on-demand connectivity among devices .The marvel of
engineering gave us the freedom of exchanging data without using yards of wires and popularly
known as Bluetooth. It all started back in 1994 when Ericsson Mobile Communications began a utilitarian
assessment on an inexpensive low-power radio solution between cell phones and phone accessories. The
idea was to build a small radio both in cellular phones and laptop that would replace the cumbersome wires
between them. Four years later Ericsson, along with Nokia, IBM, Toshiba and Intel formed the Bluetooth
Special Interest Group (SIG). These were the leading companies in the field of mobiles, notebook
computers and leaders in the digital market technology. With such big names of the field it immediately
grabbed the media attention and there were very high expectations from the product. But a lot of
complexities and problems were faced initially. Then in 1999 first Bluetooth spec 1.0 was launched and a
year later spec 1.1. Today, the Bluetooth SIG has 3,400 companies.

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for connecting fixed or mobile devices using short
radio link. It aims at providing wireless communication along with small size, minimal power
consumption and low price. The technology was designed to be simple, and the target was to have
it become standard in wireless connectivity. The name of Bluetooth has a very interesting story. The
Bluetooth SIG adopted the code name as a tribute to the tenth-century Viking king Harald Blatand who
peacefully united numerous small kingdoms under his region that were working under different rules same
as done in Bluetooth technology. Harald liked to eat blueberries, which gave his teeth the coloration that
lead to the nickname "Bluetooth."The symbol is also famous as its name and has a very interesting origin.

It should be small so adding Bluetooth capability to a device should not noticeably increase its size.The logo combines the representation of the Nordic runes Hagalaz (transcribed by 'H') and Berkana (transcribed by 'B') in the same symbol. Though IrDA supported wireless connectivity they needed optical contact that is direct line of sight and supported one to one data exchange using infra-red light. The figure below represents the three networks. printersand other technology with each other. What makes Bluetooth special when wireless technologies like IrDA and Wi-Fi existed? Pitting these technologies against each other would be unfair as each of them have their unique advantages and complement rather than compete with each other. headsets. . In the same way Wi-Fi offers a means to wirelessly connect one or more computers to each other and a router so that we can access the Internet. Size is a important feature while designing. A Quality of service is supported for voice and last but not the least Bluetooth cannot cost more than cables. “Wireless communication made easy” a tag line used to address Bluetooth but it is only for users not for the developers. It should be flexible application topology so the exchange takes place between the required devices. For example a remote control and television where we need to hold remote in line of sight of television. HB like Harald Blatand. The demands of creating Bluetooth-enabled products are very challenging. headphones. but PDAs. It uses longer distances and transfer data at faster rate as well but Bluetooth offers a means to link not just computers. This is. Power required by Bluetooth should be low as no one wants a short battery life.

calendar to a user’s phone. Bluetooth enables automatic detection of Bluetooth devices in the room enabling the transfer. It has evolved its perceived potential to a much larger extent. Every manufacturer started implementing Bluetooth enabled devices in the phones. Peer to peer file exchange can be done without the presence of network infrastructure. . short range technology to replace cables interconnecting devices such as printers.What it can do!! The promise of Bluetooth is extremely ambitious. Nowadays. There are various examples where Bluetooth model has been used. HP is making printers and notebooks with embedded Bluetooth technology so they can automatically detect Bluetooth –enabled printers in their area and wirelessly send documents to the printer without going through lengthy network and printing set-up process. It was used to make a mobile phone or cordless modem to provide Dial –Up networking which allows connecting to internet without any physical phone line. or notebook. As we can see initially Bluetooth was started in the area of mobile phone. task information. keyboards and mine. Laptop can automatically utilize the users nearby cell phone to dial and connect to dial-up service. Originally conceived as a low-power. For example a salesperson can share the contents of electronic slides with the audience. It has given rise to Personal area network where everything is accessible within the Personal Operating Space that is related to communicating information both voice and data.The promise of Bluetooth. For example a Bluetooth enabled desktop computer can wirelessly synchronize its contact list. The reason behind this adoption was to use wireless headset with the phone which meant phone can be used even if it is in a briefcase or trunk. Data synchronization between the devices is permitted by Bluetooth. PDA.

4 GHz which is available to the whole world. with Adaptive Frequency-Hopping enabled. The master sets the hopping sequence.Every device is equipped with a microchip (trans-receiver) that transmits and receives in the frequency of 2. In simple terms Bluetooth takes the information normally carried by wire and transmits it at a special frequency to another Bluetooth device. The information can be exchanged at a speed up-to 1 megabit per second or 2 megabit for second in Second Generation of this Technology). Both sending and receiving devices have same Bluetooth receiver chip.How does bluetooth work? Bluetooth is a short range communication that is simple. there are three channels of voices available. . it must time-share and synchronize to the master of the Pico net with which it is currently communicating. A cluster is formed by a master and up to seven active slaves known as Pico nets. The transmitted data is divided into packets and each packet is transmitted on one of the 79 designated Bluetooth channels. The first channel starts at 2402 MHz and continues up to 2480 MHz in 1 MHz steps. Each channel has a bandwidth of 1 MHz’s. Any Bluetooth device can be a master or slave depending on the application. The figure below summarizes the Bluetooth communication. Billions of devices ranging from mobile phones and computers to medical devices and home entertainment products are enabled with Bluetooth devices. which translates data into wireless transmission and then back to normal again depending on the sender or receiver. secure and available everywhere. Networks in Bluetooth are far more diverse and dynamic. When a device is present in more than one Pico net. and the slaves synchronize to the Master. It usually performs 800 hops per second. As they are constantly formed and dissolved Bluetooth devices move in and out of range so there are limitless ways to connect them. The slaves in a Pico net only communicate with the master. A scatter net can be formed by linking two or more Pico nets. Frequency hopping allows communicating inclusively without interferences. Besides the information.

ISM The industrial..………22 France 2446.…….471 to 2. . The ISM* is opened for any system of radio and take care of the interferences of monitors. This is the frequency band of scientific and medical industries 2..With the basic understanding of information exchange in Bluetooth system we now move ahead to specifications.………22 Spain 2445-2475 MHz F =2449+ k MHz K=0.…….22 Table representing frequency band of various countries. The range of the bandwidth in Japan is between 2. Country Frequency range RF channels Europe & USA 2400-2483. In general.5 MHz F =2454+ k MHz K=0. scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands were originally reserved internationally for the use of RF electromagnetic fields for industrial.5 MHz F =2402 + k MHz k = 0.5-2483. The ranges of the bandwidth in The United States and Europe are between 2.400 to 2.400 and 2.5 MHz and it covers part of France and Spain.. the controls for doors of garage. scientific and medical purposes other than communications.45 GHz (ISM*). Frequency The Bluetooth operates in the frequency range of 2.497 MHz So the system can be used worldwide due to that transmitters of radio covers 2.4 GHz. Though this band is available worldwide it may differ in some countries. communications equipment must accept any interference generated by ISM equipment.483.78 Japan 2471-2497 MHz F =2473+ k MHz k=0. the wireless telephone and microwave oven.500 MHz and makes it possible to select the appropriate frequency.

There are many other places Bluetooth is used. The different types of users of Bluetooth can be computers. Data Transfer Rate It is one of the important features in Bluetooth device. The power of transmission that is used as specification is of 1 mW for a scope of 10 m. The recipient equipment must have at least 70dBm. mobile phone. head set. The chips are incorporated in portable devices and powered by batteries and that’s why they should have minimum consumption of power up-to 97% less than a mobile phone so the battery of phone lasts longer.5mW ~10 m Class 3 1mW ~1 m Range The connections have a maximum range of 10 meters. GPS system and many more. Maybe it doesn’t look too much. printer.2 1Mbit/s . If Bluetooth devices do not exchange information then they establish the way of wait to save energy. though using amplifiers it is possible to come up to 100 meters. It generally ranges from 1 mega -bite to 24 mega. audio adapter. but creating some distortion interferes. Type of Data and Clients It can carry both data and voice as an exchange. For example mobile phones.7Mbits/s . 100 mW for a scope of up to 100 m. Maximum output Version Data rate Application Version 1.Power According to the power of emission the equipments are qualified in 3 categories ranging from 1mW to 10mW. Power Device power class Range Emitted Class 1 100mW ~ 100 m Class 2 2. PDA. etc. Data transfer rate is defined as the speed at which data is transmitted from one device to another. but it is necessary to remember that these devices were created by the intention of using them in closed environments and little distances.bite depending on the type of Bluetooth device version as shown below. keyboard. stereo headphones.

Version 2. Since the ISM band is open to anyone. or it can be suppressed by means of spectrum spreading.45-GHz ISM band are required to apply spectrum-spreading techniques if their transmitted power level exceeds 0 dBm [2]. but spreading is obtained over the entire frequency band. radios operating in the 2. Ad hoc Network Ad hoc network is a decentralized wireless network where they do not rely on preexisting infrastructure such as routers instead each device participates in routing by routing data to the other nodes. Here we can see that channel time is divided into slots of 625uS. Each packet can occupy 1. low-power radio implementations. The hopping frequency keeps constant within the packet.1Mbits/s Version 3.0 24Mbits/s - Frequency Hopping It is method of transmitting radio signals by rapidly switching a carrier wave among many channels using a pseudorandom sequence known both to transmitter and receiver. An ad hoc . The instantaneous (hop) bandwidth is small in FH radios. Interference can be avoided using an adaptive scheme that finds an unused part of the spectrum. 3 or 5 slots. This results in low-cost narrow-band transceivers with maximum immunity to interference. In the United States. The master uses the odd number of slots to send the packets and slave uses even numbered. they better cope with near-far problems: a nearby jammer is effectively suppressed by the narrow channel filter as long as its jammer TX spectrum does not coincide with the selected hop channel. Bluetooth radios use frequency-hop (FH) spread spectrum. FH systems divide the frequency band into several hop channels.0 3 Mbit/s 2. It is useful to avoid collision where many devices use same frequency to send the signal and avoid interference. radio systems operating in this band must cope with several unpredictable sources of interference. During a connection. radio transceivers hop from one channel to another in a pseudorandom fashion. garage door openers. cordless phones and microwave ovens (the strongest source of interference). In addition. such as baby monitors. since it better supports low-cost.

Within the Pico net. Bluetooth also uses ad hop networking and is based on peer connectivity: a device carrying a Bluetooth radio can make a connection to any other device carrying a Bluetooth radio. users on the same channel must share capacity. A maximum of 10 Pico nets can be connected to form a scatter net. the participants have to share the 1 MHz. printer. but multiple Pico nets share the entire 79 MHz. To regulate traffic on the channel. . CD-player. thus increasing the capacity. keyboard etc. However. Two or more Bluetooth units that share a FH channel form a Pico net. solely units that truly want to exchange information share the same 1-MHz channel of a Pico net.network typically refers to any set of networks where all devices have equal status on a network and are free to associate with any other ad hoc network device in link range. However. Each Pico net channel applies its own pseudorandom hopping sequence through the 79-MHz medium. one of the participating units becomes a master of the Pico net. Units that share the same area and that are within range of one another can potentially establish ad hoc connections between themselves. as more and more users are added. Since the channel capacity is only 1 MHz. For example a computer can connect to seven different Bluetooth enabled devices such as mouse. In a Bluetooth system the master device can connect up-to seven other devices forming a network known as Pico net. This solution permits several Pico nets to be created with overlapping coverage areas. another solution has been adopted. Therefore. The Pico nets are uncoordinated and hop independently. A collection of multiple Pico nets is called a scatter net. but cannot be used effectively when every unit must share the same 1-MHz hop channel. throughput per user quickly drops to less than some 10 kb/s. The Pico net is a group of several devices that are in the same radio coverage where they share same channel that is constituted between two and eight other units. A figure below shows how Pico net works. The spectral bandwidth available is 79 MHz. There is no wired infrastructure with base stations or access points that can support the call setup or can provide low-power modes.

Pico nets and scatter net forming ad-hoc network. A typical Ad hoc network. The four categories in which these protocols are divided are shown below: . Each part on the hardware runs on certain protocols and comibining them gives us a compact structure of bluetooth device. Each of these protocols work at different part of Bluetooth completing the Bluetooth configuration. Bluetooth radio. link controller and link manager. Bluetooth Protocols Bluetooth is not a single protocol but is made of different protocols seven to be exact. The concept of master. frequency. range and many more. In the previous Bluetooth article we talked about the basic terms. This part of Bluetooth will deal with the protocols responsible for the working of Bluetooth technology. the specific values of power. slaves. Bluetooth protocol comprises of a number of protocols which can be divided into four categories. Bluetooth hardware can be represented in a diagram with host. Each of these protocols is responsible for specific type of task and stands on its own.

Information is exchanged in packets in Bluetooth. exchanging and checking the link and encryption keys. When received. encryption. Service Discovery Protocol (SDP) SDP is the basis for discovery of services on all Bluetooth devices. This is essential for all Bluetooth models because with SDP device information. Packet-switched networks move data in separate. maybe used in conjunction with the Bluetooth SDP protocol. Both circuit switching and packet switching is used to transfer the packets in the network. services and the characteristics of the services can be queried and after that connection between two or more Bluetooth devices may be established . small blocks -.packets -.UpnP etc.Layer (L2CAP) The Bluetooth logical link control and adaptation layer supports higher level multiplexing. .Bluetooth Core Protocols Baseband The baseband enable the radio frequency link between Bluetooth devices to form a Pico-net. This layer is not responsible for reliability and uses ARQ to ensure it. Logical Link Control and Adaptation . This protocol layer is responsible for security issues like authentication. Circuit-switched networks require dedicated point-to-point connections during calls and generally used in telephone lines for exchange. segmentation and reassembly of packets and quality of service communication and groups. packets are reassembled in the proper sequence to make up the message. The Link Manager Protocol The link manager protocol is responsible for setting a link between two Bluetooth devices.based on the destination address in each packet. A packet is a binary data unit that carries information required by the user which can be routed through a computer network.Other service discovery protocols such as Jini.