Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How Bluetooth Technology works? Part 2

An interesting aspect of the technology is the instant formation of networks once the bluetooth devices come in range to each other. A piconet is a collection of devices connected via Bluetooth technology in an ad hoc fashion. A Piconet can be a simple connection between two devices or more than two devices. Multiple independent and non-synchronized piconets can form a scatternet. Any of the devices in a piconet can also be a member of another by means of time multiplexing i.e a device can be a part of more than one piconet by suitably sharing the time.

The Bluetooth system supports both point-to-point and point-to-multi-point connections. When a device is connected to another device it is a point to point connection. If it is connected to more that one (upto 7) it is a point to multipoint connection. Several piconets can be established and linked together ad hoc, where each piconet is identified by a different frequency hopping sequence. All users participating on the same piconet are synchronized to this hopping sequence. If a device is connected to more than one piconet it communicates in each piconet using a different hopping sequence. A piconet starts with two connected devices, such as a portable PC and cellular phone, and may grow to eight connected devices.

All Bluetooth devices are peer units and have identical implementations. However, when establishing a piconet, one unit will act as a master and the other(s) as slave(s) for the duration of the piconet connection. In a piconet there is a master unit whose clock and hopping sequence are used to synchronize all other devices in the piconet. All the other devices in a piconet that are not the master are slave units. A 3-bit MAC address is used to distinguish between units participating in the piconet. Devices synchronized to a piconet can enter power-saving modes called Sniff and hold mode, in which device activity is lowered. Also there can be parked units which are synchronized but do not have a MAC addresses. These parked units have an 8 bit address; therefore there can be a maximum of 256 parked devices.

Voice channels use either a 64 kbps log PCM or the Continuous Variable Slope Delta Modulation (CVSD) voice coding scheme, and never retransmit voice packets. The voice quality on the line interface should be better than or equal to the 64 kbps log PCM. The CVSD method was chosen for its robustness in handling dropped and damaged voice samples. Rising interference levels are experienced as increased background noise: even at bit error rates up 4%, the CVSD coded voice is quite audible.

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