Nordic Semiconductor’s production-ready S132 SoftDevice version 3.0 delivers on Bluetooth v4.2’s ‘Data packet length extension’ and ‘Long Attribute (ATT) Maximum Transfer Unit (MTU)’ enhancement, as well as supporting the latest Link Layer (LL) Privacy feature that allows private advertising Bluetooth low energy products to avoid user tracking
Nordic Semiconductor today announces the availability of its new production-ready S132 SoftDevice version 3.0 that increases Bluetooth® low energy data throughput rates by up to 500 percent by employing the enhanced ‘Long Attribute (ATT) Maximum Transfer Unit (MTU)’ and ‘Data packet length extension (DLE)’ features of Bluetooth v4.2.
This Bluetooth SIG-member driven enhancement delivers a number of application benefits including significantly faster over-the-air firmware updates of Bluetooth low energy devices, lower power consumption in data-intensive applications, and improved (more responsive) user-experiences. Prime application examples include the latest generation of multi-function wearables and smart home (e.g. Apple HomeKit) devices that have a continual requirement to send large amounts of collected data to a hub.
Long ATT MTU enables long data values to be sent between Bluetooth low energy devices in a single continuous ‘blob’, while DLE increases the maximum amount of data you can send, on-air, in one packet.
In addition to Bluetooth v4.2’s increased data throughput capability, additional security is also made available to product developers with ‘Link Layer (LL) Privacy’. This prevents tracking of private advertising Bluetooth low energy products when connecting to trusted devices. Idle connections, where data is not transmitted for long periods of time, have also been made more secure with a featured called ‘Link Layer (LL) Ping’ which periodically performs secure authentication of connected devices.
Long ATT MTU and DLE increase the maximum Bluetooth low energy throughput by increasing the size of the MTU read and write values from 23 bytes up to 512 bytes, and by increasing on-air data packet length from 27 bytes up to 251 bytes. The result of combining these enhancements is a data throughput above 800 kilobits per second (kbps).
“The Bluetooth v4.2 Long ATT MTU and DLE features are about being able to transfer considerably more data per second should you need to,” comments John Leonard, Product Marketing Manager at Nordic Semiconductor. “And because it’s designed to run on the Nordic’s class-leading high performance nRF52832 Bluetooth low energy single-chip SoC, Nordic customers employing the S132 SoftDevice will benefit from a maximum data throughput that far exceeds that achievable by existing Bluetooth low energy SoCs on the market today.
“It’s not just about higher throughput either. Product makers can achieve a net decrease in average power consumption because the number of bytes required to transfer value data is reduced by up to 20 percent by Long ATT MTU for long data values, and increased packet length on-air reduces the amount of time the BLE radio is on because more data is sent before an acknowledgement from the peer device is required.”