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'Bluetooth 3.0 + HS' Formally Unveiled

Gordon Kelly

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'Bluetooth 3.0 + High Speed' Formally Unveiled

So the third generation of Bluetooth technology is here and it's a radical yet somewhat disappointing evolution...

Officially named 'Bluetooth 3.0 + HS' (the HS standing for 'High Speed') it makes use of the 802.11 protocol to increase both range of data transfer speeds as well as boosting battery life. Sound good? Well, it's alright.

Far from the prior Bluetooth SIG claim of "Transferring an entire music library, a complete DVD, a vacation's worth of photos, all within seconds at the touch of a button", 3.0 + HS will actually operate at a real world rate of 25-28Mbit - on a par with wireless g. That's a substantial improvement on the 1-2Mbit experienced today but you'll be more likely waiting hours than seconds to transfer "a complete DVD" and it falls a long way short of the speeds achievable via Draft N.

On the plus side, the simple coupling method of Bluetooth means products equipped with 3.0 + HS will be able to stream video (720p HD should be fine depending on range) from portable devices to HDTVs, enable wireless syncing of MP3 players and phones and the nippy transfer of images between cameras and PCs. SIG also claims battery drain will be reduced, but that will only be when idle as WiFi uses more juice than Bluetooth when in use.

Traditional Bluetooth member companies Atheros, Broadcom, CSR and Marvell are working on getting 3.0 + HS into manufacturers' hands as we speak but SIG does admit it is likely to be nine to 12 months before we'll be able to clasp our hands on any real world products.

So it's nice, but no replacement for the far cooler (yet seemingly ditched) goodness that is UWB.

Links:

Press Release

Bluetooth 3.0 + HS Product Page

Keithe6e

April 22, 2009, 6:39 pm

@more likely waiting hours than seconds to transfer "a complete DVD"





Well if everything being ideal and getting 28Mbit, then a 9 Gig DVD should be done in just under an hour, but yeah certainly not seconds. Also wasn't one of the advantages of bluetooth compared to Wi-Fi low power consumption, if it's going to be using 802.11 protocol then I assume that's going to change.

Hamish Campbell

April 22, 2009, 7:07 pm

That '+ High Speed' is naff. Like anyone thought Bluetooth 3.0 was going to be slower (like it could be!).





Nice to get a boost though, just like when we got Wireless N + High Speed + More Range + Support For More Antennaes.

Gnormie

April 22, 2009, 7:27 pm

@ Keith


Apparently the 802.11 layer is only turned on during transfers, so it'll almost certainly use more power when transferring files, but i guess when it refers to lower power consumption it means when it's not in use.

Technology changes, and so sho

April 22, 2009, 7:52 pm

@Keith


Sounds like the 28Mbit is the data rate, not the throughput. Multiply the data rate by 0.4 for the overhead and then again by 0.67 for using the wireless over a practical range (i.e. both devices not right next to each other) and that's your throughput for transferring DVDs etc.





Since most laptops and phones put Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on the same antenna, I'd expect this to be a lot slower too as the two standards compete for the aether.





Streaming anything other than highly compressed, low-res, DivX video is going to be near impossible.

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