The basics of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE): Page 2 of 7

October 20, 2016 //By Abhishek Gupta and Imran Mohammed, Cypress Semiconductor
Bluetooth technology has revolutionized wireless communications between devices with its ubiquitous and simple characteristics. It allows devices to communicate without cables while maintaining high levels of security. Because of its low power and low cost, Bluetooth has played a pivotal role in the evolution of applications from high-speed automotive devices to complex medical devices.

While BLE is a superior technology on its own merit, what has driven its phenomenal adoption rate is that it is the right technology, with the right compromises, at the right time. For a relatively young standard, the number of product designs that already include BLE puts it well ahead of other wireless technologies at the same point in their release cycles.

The challenges classic Bluetooth faced were fast battery draining and frequent loss of connection, requiring frequent pairing and re-pairing. Being able to successfully address these is one of the reasons for BLE’s rapid growth. Further driving adoption is the phenomenal growth in smartphones, tablets, and mobile computing. Early and active adoption of BLE by mobile industry heavyweights broke open the doors for wider implementation of BLE. This in turn has pushed semiconductor manufacturers to commit their limited resources to the technology they felt was the most likely to flourish in the long run.

While the mobile and tablet markets have become increasingly mature, the need for connectivity between the outside world and these devices has a huge growth potential. It offers peripheral vendors a unique opportunity to develop innovative devices that solve problems consumers might not even realize that they have today. So many benefits have converged around BLE, creating an opportunity for small and nimble product designers to gain access to a potentially massive market with task-specific, creative, and innovative products on a relatively modest design budget. BLE also allows these developers to design viable products today that can talk to any modern mobile platform using chips, tools, and standards that are easy to access.

 

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