editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Meshing With Bluetooth

A while back, we took a look at what seemed to be the dominant two radio protocols in new Internet-of-Things announcements: Bluetooth Low Energy and WiFi.

Which resulted in Zigbee raising their hands and doing a virtual “Ahem…”

So I followed up with a discussion of Zigbee, and the ensuing LinkedIn discussion was passionate (and not necessarily kind to Zigbee).

Emotions and ease-of-use issues aside, the biggest differentiators appear to be range (Zigbee wins) and mesh capability (Zigbee has, Bluetooth doesn’t).

If distance is your issue, then meshing gives you an extra distance bonus, since nodes need only be near each other; the Mother Node or hub or whatever can be much farther away. Traffic will arrive at its destination not through the air in a hub-and-spoke manner, but through the network. The only consideration here is the fact that all of this traffic will be traveling through the nodes, which otherwise would be handling only their own traffic. With a mesh, they also have to route other traffic as well.

So if this sort of configuration is what you need, then it would seem that Zigbee would be the only obvious solution.

Or would it?

CSR has introduced what they call their Smart Mesh. And it’s not Zigbee: it’s built over Bluetooth Smart. Why go through all that effort to do something Bluetooth wasn’t originally designed to do? It goes back to the reason I thought Bluetooth and WiFi were dominating: they’re in smartphones, and Zigbee isn’t.

This adds yet one more wrinkle to the distance scenario above. Yes, if you have a Bluetooth hub, a mesh will give you network reach far beyond what that hub could do on its own. But with the phone, you now have a “mobile hub,” if you wish. As long as you’re in range of one of the nodes, anywhere in the network, the phone can access the network for information or control.

You can find out more about CSR’s specific solution in their announcement.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Aug 2, 2020
www.youtube.com/watch Made in "Indonesia" (camera me) Monday: Open Source Hardware Tuesday: DAC 2020: The State of the Industry Wednesday: DAC 2020: Open-Source EDA Thursday: Recruiting and... [[ Click on the title to access the full blog on the Cadence Community s...
Jul 31, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at the notion of sparsity and how it helps with the math.] We saw before that there are three main elements in a CNN: the convolution, the pooling, and the activation . Today we focus on activation . I'€™ll start by saying that the uses of ...
Jul 31, 2020
Well, things just took an unexpected turn and I now have a '€œHmmm, that'€™s very interesting'€ look on my face....
Jul 30, 2020
The pandemic has not slowed the demand for high bandwidth, high-performance systems, such as 56 Gbps PAM4, 112 Gbps PAM4 and more. Designer engineers in all types of industries, from data center, HPC, networking, telecom, medical, storage, semiconductor, wireless, test and me...

Featured Video

Product Update: New DesignWare USB4 IP Solution

Sponsored by Synopsys

Are you ready for USB4? Join Gervais Fong and Eric Huang to learn more about this new 40Gbps standard and Synopsys DesignWare IP that helps bring your USB4-enabled SoC to market faster.

Click here for more information about DesignWare USB4 IP

Featured Paper

Improving Performance in High-Voltage Systems With Zero-Drift Hall-Effect Current Sensing

Sponsored by Texas Instruments

Learn how major industry trends are driving demands for isolated current sensing, and how new zero-drift Hall-effect current sensors can improve isolation and measurement drift while simplifying the design process.

Click here for more information

Featured Chalk Talk

Machine Learning at the Edge

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and NXP

AI and neural networks are part of almost every new system design these days. But, most system designers are just coming to grips with the implications of designing AI into their systems. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Anthony Huereca of NXP about the ins and outs of machine learning and the NXP iEQ Machine Learning Software Development Environment.

Click here for more information about NXP Semiconductors i.MX RT1060 EVK Evaluation Kit (MIMXRT1060-EVK)