Compared to previous revisions, Bluetooth 5 offers
twice the data transfer rate eight times the advertising/broadcasting capacity four times the range
Twice the Data Transfer Rate
Bluetooth 5 provides not only the standard modulation rate of 1Mbps but also an additional modulation rate of
2Mbps, almost doubling the maximum transfer speed. This offers the ability not only to send larger amounts of data in a shorter time, but also to reduce power consumption when sending a certain amount of data. 2Mbps is the theoretical value - protocol overheads mean that in practice, it is more likely to be around 1.6Mbps. As a guide, therefore, a maximum of 700-800kbps will be available.
Advertising Extensions for Greater Broadcasting Capacity
The "advertising extensions" are another new addition to Bluetooth 5. They allow advertising to be extended beyond the specified channels. This increases the broadcasting capacity and allows more information to be contained - an especially compelling proposition for applications based on broadcasting capability such as beacons and smart mesh networks.
Another advantage is that no explicit connection is established between the devices in question during broadcasting, which means that sent data can be received and read by any Bluetooth device. Bluetooth 5 also allows broadcast data to be encrypted so that not necessarily every Bluetooth receiver can read it, making Bluetooth 5 also suitable for applications such as tracking, indoor navigation and smart lighting, all of which can now be implemented with greater ease and enhanced functionality.
Bluetooth Long Range has already preempted one of Bluetooth 5's other improvements, namely the much greater range. A more complex signal encoding system is applied for this, using a 1 megasample per second modulation as before, but in this case using either two or eight samples to represent a single bit (125kbps or 500kbps), allowing for forward error correction (FEC). As a result, Bluetooth can now also be recommended for applications where multiple walls between paired devices need to be overcome, for instance in home automation and smart city applications.
Bluetooth 5 Modules
ISP1507 from Insight SIP and BlueMod+S50 from Telit have already incorporated this. Both are based on the nRF52832 SoC from Nordic Semiconductor and therefore offer additional features such as NFC (near-field communication) and reduced power consumption.
The ISP1507 has a Cortex M4F MCU with 64kB of RAM and 512kB of flash memory. Despite its incredibly small form factor of just 8x8mm, it integrates two crystals (32MHz+32KHz) and an antenna.
The BlueMod+S50 from Telit exhibits the conventional family form factor of 10x17mm, enabling convenient replacement of the predecessor modules BlueMod+SR (dual-mode module), BlueMod+S and BlueMod+S42. Telit also offers profiles developed in-house, including the terminal I/O profile, which is comparable with traditional Bluetooth's SPP. This extremely low-power module is suitable for many IoT applications, ranging from home automation and healthcare to battery-powered applications with long product lifecycles.
First SoC Entirely Compatible with Bluetooth 5
nRF52840 system-on-a-chip from Nordic is the first Bluetooth Low Energy Chip to be entirely compatible with Bluetooth 5, meaning that it supports the increased data transfer rate, the factor-of-eight increase in advertising capacity, and the quadrupling of the range. With high-performance multi-protocol radio, it also supports ANT, 802.15.4 (Thread) and 2.4GHz applications. The SoC has an integrated 64MHz, 32-bit ARM Cortex-M4F processor, 1MB of flash memory and 256kB of RAM, an NFC tag, USB 2.0 support and numerous peripherals, including QSPI, NFC-A and an ARM CryptoCell 310 cryptographic accelerator. The nRF52840 supports a wide voltage range of 1.7V to 5.5V and offers up to 48 GPIOs in a 7x7mm aQFN format. It is supported by the S140 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5 pre-qualified Bluetooth Low Energy concurrent multi-role (central / peripheral / broadcaster / observer) protocol stack. The chip is compatible with the products of the series nRF52, nRF51 and nRF24.
With faster, more reliable and more stable connections, Bluetooth 5 is capable of handling the increased traffic loads and security requirements of the IoT - an important step for the
Bluetooth Special Interest Group allow home-based and building-based applications with Bluetooth 5 and to continue driving the growth of site-based services.
Find components at