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Bluetooth 2.0 To Redline Speeds With New Data Rates

Bluetooth will post gains into the audio/video market now that an enhanced spec has been approved to triple Bluetooth 1.2’s data rate and thus triple transmission speed, said Anders Edlund, marketing director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group.

The group adopted Bluetooth 2.0+EDR (Enhanced Data Rate), which accelerates Bluetooth’s raw data rate to 3Mbps from 1Mpbs, delivering expected throughput of 2.1Mbps from 720kbps, Edlund said. The spec is also twice as efficient as the current spec, extending the battery life of Bluetooth-equipped mobile devices.

Chips incorporating 2.0+EDR will be available in production quantities towards the end of 2004, and they’ll be put to use in devices requiring higher throughputs, including CD-quality audio streaming, digital image transfer and laser printing, the group said. The chips would be backward-compatible with existing Bluetooth-equipped devices.

Next year, Edlund noted, “Definitely, you will see hi-fi stereo headphones with Bluetooth on the market in the U.S. next year. Several are already available in Europe.” Cellphones incorporating the chips will be available six to nine months after availability of chips, or the summer and fall of 2005, he added.

The first 2.0 product are likely to be computer related, the group said, followed by audio and imaging uses.