Bluetooth 5: the key benefits at a glance

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    Oct 9, 2017 10:16:41 AM | Door ir. Gijs Meuleman

    ir. Gijs Meuleman

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    Bluetooth 5: the key benefits at a glance

    The Bluetooth technology is getting our attention already for a while. We explained our enthusiasm towards Bluetooth before in our article about the popularity of Bluetooth Low Energy. The low energy variant (version 4.2) is great, but the next version is already waiting. In this blog we tell you more about the most important advantages of Bluetooth 5.

    The first chipsets for Bluetooth 5 have entered the market this year, but like every innovation, it takes some time before a new version has been adopted. At the moment the Samsung Galaxy S8 is the only mobile phone that is equipped with Bluetooth 5. We expect manufacturers to apply the new version in the upcoming products in 2018. It is expected that in 2020 one third of all IoT devices will be equipped with Bluetooth 5. At this very moment (2017) 8.2 billion devices make use of Bluetooth.

    Advantages of Bluetooth 5

    What are the advantages of Bluetooth 5 in contrast to its predecessor? Meuleman Electronics has sorted this out for you:

    1. More Range

    In Bluetooth 5 you can increase your range by using a lower effective data rate and increase the transmit power. The range is improved with a factor 4 with respect to version 4.2. However, this improved range is not for free: you will have extra power consumption. Sending data will take two to eight times longer than before, which lowers the lifetime of a battery. This can be acceptable if you are only interested in the increased range. In for example this test you can see a drone, working with Bluetooth 5, achieving a range of almost 800 meters.

     2. Faster Data Transfer

    With Bluetooth 5 you can set your data speed to 2Mbit/s, which is double the potention of the previous version. Data will therefore arrive faster. When having a constant amount of data, the transmission time is halved. With this you achieve a lower energy consumption. The fast data transfer does not work with Long Range, because in that case you set a low data rate to increase the range. The faster transfer is useful when sending big amounts of data. For example when a product receives an OTA (Over the Air) update remotely or when streaming audio.

     3. Improvement for broadcast messages

    The advertisement mode is an often used feature of Bluetooth; it is about a message everyone can receive on set times. You don’t need to setup a connection first. Bluetooth Beacons work with this application, where you can localise an indoor posision for example. The accuracy improves a lot, because with Bluetooth 5, the maximum frequency you can send messages with, is eight times bigger than before. Also audio streaming will get a significant impulse because of this improvement.

    Conclusion: Bluetooth 5 is a step forward

    With new versions you always have to wait whether the improvements are in proportion with the version before. For Bluetooth 5 we can conclude a big step has been made compared to Bluetooth 4.2. The increase of range and a faster data transfer are the most important features for this new version. Both during connection and sending of broadcast messages, Bluetooth 5 gives important impulse to the performances. For all use scenarios, broader and more optimal protocols are applicable.

    If you have any questions regarding this article, please feel free to contact us. We are happy to help you.

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