Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) for wearables, peripherals and IoT

Bluetooth® LE with its extremely low power consumption, very fast pairing and worldwide use of the 2.4 GHz band addresses many applications requiring short-range low-power data connectivity

Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) for wearables, peripherals and IoT

The Bluetooth® LE technology has been adopted in Bluetooth® specification 4.0 to achieve an ultra-low-power solution particularly for peripherals and wearables used in a wide range of applications such as for medical devices or automotive applications. With this version, Bluetooth® LE has a maximum data rate of 1 Mbit/s, consuming between 0.01 to 0.5 watts, thus using around half the power to provide approximately 33 % of the data rate of Bluetooth® Classic. With Bluetooth® 5, the application range was further expanded in the internet of things (IoT) space with features for higher data rate of 2 Mbit/s, long-range coding and additional advertising capabilities. The number of devices per ad hoc network was increased. In conjunction with the Bluetooth® Mesh specification, this opens new opportunities in the home/building automation and industrial applications area.

LE 1M LE 2M LE coded (S=2) LE coded (S=8)
Spectrum 2.4 GHz ISM band 2.4 GHz ISM band 2.4 GHz ISM band 2.4 GHz ISM band
Number of channels 40 40 40 40
Channel spacing 2 MHz 2 MHz 2 MHz 2 MHz
Interference avoidance Adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum (1600 hops/s over max. 37 channels) Adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum (1600 hops/s over max. 37 channels) Adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum (1600 hops/s over max. 37 channels) Adaptive frequency hopping spread spectrum (1600 hops/s over max. 37 channels)
Advertising Three advertising channels Three advertising channels Three advertising channels Three advertising channels
Modulation GFSK (250 kHz) GFSK (500 kHz) GFSK (250 kHz) GFSK (250 kHz)
Coding header:1/1
data:1/1
header:1/1
data:1/1
header:1/8
data:1/2
header:1/8
data:1/8
Max. data rate 1 Mbit/s 2 Mbit/s 500 kbit/s 250 kbit/s
Rohde-Schwarz-Bluetooth-LE-test-setups_1440.jpg
Different test setups for design, qualification, verification and manufacturing of Bluetooth® LE devices
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Your Bluetooth® LE test challenges

There are several factors that influence the overall communications performance. These include antenna design; power supplies; coexistence issues with other wireless communications chips, for example with LTE and WLAN; and the final housing. During and after the design stage, it is important to conduct tests to ensure that the transmitted information is correct. Tests such as verifying the test packet structure, output power, modulation characteristics and carrier frequency error are necessary. Bluetooth® SIG has defined related test cases for the Bluetooth® qualification and has specified a direct test mode (DTM) to control transmitter and receiver tests via a wired control interface. This test mode is activated via external commands, which can be a bit cumbersome, especially for test situations where no direct access to the DUT is possible. However, the industry is also looking for possibilities to allow easy-to-use over-the air testing of the Bluetooth® LE devices. Essentially, there are two approaches: to use the always-active advertising channels to perform RX and TX measurements, or to use standard Bluetooth® LE signaling for testing the device.

Benefits of Rohde & Schwarz Bluetooth® LE test solutions

  • Bluetooth® test functions are available for all major Rohde & Schwarz test instruments, including signal generators and signal analyzers
  • Supporting Bluetooth® LE in line with Bluetooth® core specifications 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5 and 5.1 for design, certification and production
  • Bluetooth® SIG qualified the R&S®CMW wireless communication tester for RF testing. The test setup can be automated with the R&S®CMWrun sequencer software tool

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R&S®CMW270 wireless connectivity tester

The non-cellular expert covering Bluetooth® Classic and Bluetooth® LE testing up to version 5.1 in non-signaling and signaling mode. Qualified by Bluetooth® SIG for RF testing.

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R&S®SMBV100B vector signal generator

The new benchmark in its class with up to 500 MHz modulation bandwidth and excellent EVM performance even at high output power levels supporting Bluetooth® EDR and Bluetooth® LE 5.0 signal generation.

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R&S®FPL1000 spectrum analyzer

Experience high performance wherever you take it. It supports not only spectrum analysis, but also highly accurate power measurement and analysis of analog and digitally modulated signals.

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R&S®TS8997 regulatory test system for wireless devices

Supports regulatory testing for wireless devices operating in ISM bands based on ETSI and FCC.

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R&S®CMW100 communications manufacturing test set

The ultra-compact non-signaling tester optimized for production lines for calibration and verification supporting Bluetooth® DTM and advertiser tests.

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R&S®FPC spectrum analyzer

A spectrum analyzer providing unexpected performance at a budget-friendly price, supports basic Bluetooth® LE transmitter tests.

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R&S®CMW-Z10 shielded box

Excellent shielding effectiveness and superior coupling characteristics for frequencies up to 6 GHz, is perfect for OTA testing of Bluetooth® devices.

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R&S®CMWrun sequencer software tool

Production-ready sequencer tool for parallel multi-DUT testing with integrated chipset control.

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Related resources

White paper: From cable replacement to the IoT – Bluetooth 5.1

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Application note: Bluetooth® LE RF test for IoT applications

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Video: Let’s talk IoT – Bluetooth for the Internet of Things

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Video: How to perform Bluetooth® 5 testing with the R&S®CMW

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Video: How to measure Bluetooth® LE devices with the R&S®CMW

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Application brochure: Bluetooth® testing with the R&S®CMW wideband radio communication tester

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Application card: The smarter way to test BLE transmit signals

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Application note: Configuration of the R&S CMW for Bluetooth Low Energy direct test mode

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Application card: Bluetooth® LE devices – complete RF characterization

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Application note: Battery life optimization in IoT devices with the multi-channel power probe R&S®RT-ZVC02/04(A)

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Application note: IoT power consumption measurement

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Bluetooth Testing

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Non-cellular device manufacturing

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Bluetooth® LE direction finding

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IoT testing

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