Electronic Design

Bluetooth SIG Okays Use On 802.11 Radios

In a move that will speed the availability of a fast data channel for handset manufacturers, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) will allow Bluetooth to reside on top of an 802.11 radio. According to the SIG, the decision was driven by the majority of its more than 10,000 member companies, namely handset manufacturers that have been looking for a high-speed data channel. SIG members were looking for a stable and mature alternative to ultra wideband (UWB), which is not yet ready. However, the Bluetooth SIG said it will continue to work with the WiMedia Alliance to ensure the presence of UWB as soon as possible. This two-phased roadmap allows Bluetooth to satisfy use-cases that have not previously been viable for the technology. "In terms of WLAN penetration into handsets, it is still only a fraction compared with Bluetooth and in terms of its potential," Fiona Thomson, senior analyst with IMS Research, said in a statement. "The combination of Bluetooth technology and WLAN certainly fills a void currently left by UWB. However, UWB has its own advantages and we envisage, as soon as UWB is mature enough, it will take its place."

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