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Bluetooth readies spec for 2, 10-Mbit/s data rate
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is drafting high-speed versions of the short-range wireless specification that will run at 2 and 10 Mbits/second and could be released by the end of the year, the group's chairman said at the Intel Developer Forum Wednesday (Feb. 28).Official confirmation of the second-generation Bluetooth work comes as the Special Interest Group (SIG) prepares to post to its Web site today version 1.1 of the spec, a revision that is said to clean up interoperability problems that made products based on an earlier draft "dead in the water," according to Francis Truntzer, a strategic planning manager at Intel Corp. who recently took over the chairman's seat on the ad hoc standards group.Early last year the SIG wrote a charter for its so-called Radio-2 working group asking it to deliver a 2 and a 10 Mbit/s version as well as functionality enhancements to the existing Bluetooth spec such as the ability to recognize Bluetooth devices more quickly, Truntzer said. The 2 Mbit/s spec "will be really important for 3G cellular as well as some applications that require audio/video," he said. The 10 Mbit/s spec "opens up another set of applications that are more limited in number." Discussions have swirled around the Bluetooth community for some time about developing higher-data-rate versions of the spec, which currently provides about 720 kilobits/second of data throughput. Some people have argued for faster versions of the spec to support image transfers from digital cameras or to act as an alternative for 802.11-based wireless LANs. Truntzer's comments were among the first from a Bluetooth official confirming details of the work on a high-data-rate version. Truntzer was reluctant to provide further details on the fast Bluetooth work. However, he did say the working group was one of 11 commissioned early last year as part of a second-generation of specs he hopes will be released this year. The other 10 working groups are focused on drafting user profiles for specific kinds of Bluetooth applications. "For instance, your cell phone could act as an interface to the hard disk drive on your notebook computer, and there are profiles being developed to enable that," said Duncan Glendinning, director of communications architecture in Intel's mobile platform group. Interoperability issues Separately, version 1.1 of the Bluetooth spec is expected to become publicly available from the group's Web site starting today (Mar 1). The revision includes a handful of key changes that clean up significant interoperability problems found with devices built around the previous version 1.0b."Chances are, if you built your system around version 1.0b, you will be dead in the water," Truntzer said. "Those systems that are not using version 1.1 are pretty much non-starters. So we really need to be shipping 1.1 products, not 1.0b, and we will begin qualifying 1.1 products as soon as the spec is released on March 1." The glitches in the spec were uncovered at so-called Unplug Fests where OEMs bring their systems to test with those from other companies. The problems "were a collection of little things that were not much in and of themselves, but taken together they were sufficient to create interoperability problems," he said. In the latest Unplug Fest in early February in Frankfurt, most systems that used the draft 1.1 specification had few interoperability problems, Truntzer reported. As many as 450 developers attended that meeting, testing about 150 systems. "Those who had a complete 1.1 implementation had excellent success in interoperability. Certainly there is no reason to delay product introductions" for systems based on version 1.1, he added. The group still plans several more Unplug Fests, including one in Los Angeles in April, one in Nice, France, in August and one in Asia by the end of the year. And there is a chance the SIG could draft a version 1.2 based on the outcome of those events, Truntzer said. Nevertheless, the SIG chairman said his confidence is "very high" and that there will be no further delays in shipping systems using Bluetooth. Intel currently estimates as many as 80 percent of all notebook computers will come equipped with Bluetooth by 2005, Glendinning said. That compares with expectations that just 20 to 40 percent of notebooks will build in wireless LAN support in the same time frame, he added.
关键词： Bluetooth readies 10-Mbit
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