PalmSource Licenses Next Gen Bluetooth

By James Alan Miller

June 15, 2004

Future Palm OS will get Bluetooth 1.2, a specification promising improved performance and reduced interference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

PalmSource has licensed Extended Systems XTNDAccess Blue SDK version 2.0, which brings the Bluetooth 1.2 protocol to the Palm operating system. Bluetooth is an increasingly common short-range radio technology aimed at simplifying communications between devices, especially mobile devices, such as handhelds, and peripherals.

This protocol is the sequel to the current Bluetooth specification, version 1.1, which is found in most Palm handhelds that feature Bluetooth personal area networking, such as the Zire 72, Tungsten T3 and Sony CLIE PEG-TH55.

The new specification will bring better Bluetooth performance to future Palm PDAs and smartphones, including the improved coexistence of Bluetooth communications alongside 802.11b and 802.11g Wi-Fi, which, along with microwaves and cordless phones, run at 2.4 GHz. In other words, it reduces the amount of interference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, allowing each wireless networking technology work at its maximum capacity.

The new protocal does this by using Adaptive Frequency Hopping to alter Bluetooth to the environment it is running within so as not to interfere with the frequencies other electronic devices are using. This is an important development, as more and more handhelds are combining Bluetooth networking with Wi-Fi. While some devices that are coming out later this year will also be adding in GSM or CDMA cellular technology with the other two.

Since the new protocol is backwards compatible, future handhelds that integrate it will be able to work with printers, headsets and other peripherals that support the earlier Bluetooth specification.

Reprinted from Palm Boulevard.



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