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Bluetooth

Bluetooth is a wireless standard used for many purposes, including connecting peripheral devices to a system. Bluetooth uses a low-cost, short-range radio link that replaces many of the cords used to connect devices.

Bluetooth is an easily configured technology. When Bluetooth-enabled devices are within 10 or so meters of each other, they can establish a connection. Bluetooth establishes the link using an RF-based link and therefore does not require a direct line-of-sight connection. The Bluetooth Standard defines a short RF link that is capable of voice or data transmission up to a maximum capacity of 720Kbps per channel.

Bluetooth operates at 2.4 to 2.48GHz and uses an FHSS technology. The signal can hop between 79 frequencies at 1MHz intervals to give a high degree of interference immunity.

As an established technology, Bluetooth has many advantages, but the speed of 720Kbps is limiting. The newest version of Bluetooth, Bluetooth 2.0, increases overall speed to a data rate of 3Mbps. This speed may still be significantly slower than 802.11b or 802.11g, but for an easily configured cable replacement technology, it is an attractive option. Table 7.7 highlights the advantages of the Bluetooth standard.

Table 7.7. Bluetooth Characteristics

Characteristic

Description

Specification

Bluetooth

Topology

Ad hoc

Spread spectrum

FHSS

Medium

2.4GHz RF

Speed

720Kbps

Range

10 meters in optimal conditions

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