Bluetooth spec updated to version 2.1+EDR

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Bellevue (WA) – The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has officially adopted the Bluetooth specification 2.1+EDR, which promises to improve the pairing process and the power consumption of Bluetooth devices.

According to a press release, pairing of two or Bluetooth-enabled products is getting much easier with the new spec. While the setup is relatively complex today, the new version will rely on selecting specific types of hardware to be added (such as “Add Headset”) and then wait until the device is found, connected with an encrypted link and paired. If required, the 2.1 spec can use a six digit passkey for eavesdropper protection.

New is also a feature called “sniff subrating”, which will improve battery life of devices such as mice, keyboards, watches, home sensor networks and medical devices by up to five minutes, the Bluetooth SIG said. The feature enables a Bluetooth device to increase the time that passes between connection confirmation, up from currently 1/10 of a second. The time frame is decided dynamically by the device – but the fewer confirmations the chip has to send the more power it will save.

The group expects silicon vendors such as Broadcom, CSR, Infineon and Texas Instruments to have Bluetooth v2.1+ EDR chips available as of now.