What's new with Bluetooth 5?
Bluetooth 5 is bringing new features to Bluetooth low energy (BLE):
- Double the speed
- Four times the range
- Eight times the broadcasting capacity
High speed mode
Bluetooth 5 doubles the data throughput compared to Bluetooth 4.2 using 2Mbps mode. Faster transmit speed means less time spent with the radio active, which in turn means decreased battery consumption.
The faster rate allows for better user experience enabling to exchange data faster and implementing new functions like data-logging and diagnostics.
Other benefits of high speed mode are faster over-the-air downloads (OAD) and reduced average current consumption as the on-air time is decreased.
Long range mode
Long range is achieved with new Coded Physical layers (PHY) rates of 500kbps and 125kbps. With Coded PHYs, the sensitivity is improved while maintaining the same TX and RX current consumption. The number of over-the-air modulated symbols is increased for each bit of data making it easier for the receiver to distinguish a signal compared to noise. The improved sensitivity increases the range of Bluetooth low energy from single-room to whole-house coverage.
By extending the range of Bluetooth low energy there is less retransmissions needed which creates a more reliable network with lower power. Connected homes and buildings will greatly benefit from extended range in applications such as HVAC, electronic locks, power tools, and machine monitoring sensors.
Bluetooth 5 enables the ability to transmit more intelligent data over a beacon with increased broadcasting capacity. This is achieved by offloading the advertisement channels and utilizing the 37 data channels to transmit advertisement payloads.
Previously the advertisement payload was sent on all three advertisement channels, now only a pointer is transmitted on the three channels, revealing when and where the advertisement payload is being transmitted. The advertisement is then transmitted only once on one data channel.
This reduces the load on advertising channels which improves beacon and other connectionless applications such as way-finding, indoor navigation, and asset tracking. The Advertisement Extension feature enables a device to initiate and connect at long range.