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Building up Bluetooth's low energy potential

Posted: 07 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Bluetooth? ultra low power wireless? short range RF?

Despite a tough economic environment, Bluetooth wireless technology is expecting to do well in 2010. According to IC Insights Inc., Bluetooth chip revenues could hit $3.2 billion next year. If the forecast is realized, it will mean that annual production of the low-power, short-range RF technology would have more than doubled compared to 2006's US$1.47 billion of shipments.

Despite this impressive success, Bluetooth misses one key market that is currently dominated by proprietary technologies: ultralow-power (ULP) wireless connectivity. Although not formally defined, ULP RF is invariably regarded as wireless connectivity powered by coin cell batteries such as a standard sized CR2032 with 3V output.

These devices can withstand a peak current of 22mA, but for practical applications with reasonable battery life, an RF transceiver should draw a peak current of less than 15mA, have very short transmit times (in the microsecond range) and feature a very low power consumption sleep mode (in the nanoamp range). The combination of these operating parameters leads to an average operating current in the microamp range and coin cell battery life of many months or even years in typical applications.

View the PDF document for more information.

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