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Module extends Bluetooth range to 1km

Posted: 13 Jul 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth module? Bluetooth range? 1km range?

Wireless chip and module specialist Ezurio has pushed out the boundaries of Bluetooth with a module that gives the short-range wireless protocol a range of 1km.

Dubbed the BISM II PA, the module achieves this range in line of sight applications with an on-board omni-directional antenna. Euziro says the module is "just the size of a postage stamp."

The module is targeted at embedded and machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. The device consumes less than 700mW when transmitting at full power and, Ezurio says, can transfer data at open field ranges even in excess of 1km when used with a higher gain directional external antenna. It supports Bluetooth version 2.0 and includes a full firmware protocol stack.

The module is said to gain its range more by sensitive electronics and filters than high power.

"It has long been a cause of frustration that so many commentators and engineers have assumed that Bluetooth is just a short range technology", said Nick Hunn, CTO of Ezurio. "Simply because some applications, such as headsets, deliberately restrain their range, Bluetooth is often considered to have limited application. We have supplied hundreds of thousands of Bluetooth modules to customers who require ranges of over 100m."

Although a range of 1,000m may appear to greatly exceed many application needs, it translates to a highly tolerant and robust connection when used inside a building, says Chris Shannon, Ezurio's CEO. "Many of the usages of Bluetooth are within buildings or constrained sites, where the environment changes rapidly causing attenuation and reflection of the radio signal. The extra range we can offer helps eliminate black spots in these environments."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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