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Electronic Design

"Black Box" Platform Relieves Bluetooth Design Woes

Bluetooth chips are shipping at a rate of over 3 million per month, more than all other wireless chips combined. But while the chips are inexpensive, simple to use, and highly interoperable thanks to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group's standards, creating a Bluetooth-enabled device can be a programmer's nightmare.

Bluetooth stacks are available from multiple sources, yet it still takes thousands of programmer hours to produce a successful Bluetooth profile and application. It makes one wonder how much more widespread Bluetooth would be if code development were faster and simpler. Well, now it is.

Open Interface North America's BHAPI, a Bluetooth development platform (BDP), can slash development time by employing a "black box" approach. This BDP partitions the Bluetooth functionality into a server and a client, separating the Bluetooth functions from the application functions. This type of platform makes life significantly easier for developers incorporating Bluetooth into new product designs.

Known as BHSRV, the BHAPI server encapsulates the Bluetooth protocol stack and profiles. The client, named BHCLI, provides a high-level application programming interface (API) that greatly simplifies the development of Bluetooth applications. The BHCLI and BHSRV can run on separate CPUs, though this isn't required. The BHSRV can be integrated directly with a Bluetooth baseband so that the baseband, Bluetooth protocol stack, and profiles can all run on the same chip.

The BDP features multiple simultaneous connections that use different profiles or different Bluetooth devices. Additionally, it boasts commands for putting Bluetooth links into low-power modes, as well as for enabling and disabling device discoverability and connectivity. It fully supports Bluetooth security modes and string localization as well.

The BHAPI server is licensed as a flash-loadable binary on a per-unit royalty basis that decreases based on volume. The BHAPI client with C and Java APIs is licensed as source code for development and host integration. For more details on this development system and the pricing options, as well as a white paper about Bluetooth applications development, contact Open Interface directly.

Open Interface North America Inc.
[email protected]

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