Transmission Rate vs. Bandwidth in Bluetooth Technology
The transmission rate is the volume of data transmitted over a transmission channel within a specified duration of time.
Each of the channels of Bluetooth classic is separated by 1 MHz, and this defines the bandwidth of the Bluetooth classic channel.
Compared to Bluetooth, WiFi is a high-speed (transmission rate), high bandwidth wireless communication technology.
Understanding the transmission rate vs. bandwidth requirements of an application helps designers choose between Bluetooth classic or Bluetooth low energy technologies
Internet of Things (IoT) is increasingly being optimized in portable and wearable electronics. In IoT devices, Bluetooth technology is used for short-range communication. To save power, Bluetooth low energy is used in battery-operated IoT devices. Before deciding on whether to use Bluetooth classic or low energy, it is necessary to consider other parameters such as the transmission rate, bandwidth, and throughput. Understanding the difference between the transmission rate vs. bandwidth requirements of an application helps designers choose between Bluetooth classic or Bluetooth low energy to best optimize the IoT system of interest.
The transmission rate is the volume of data transmitted over a transmission channel within a specified duration of time. It is usually expressed in baud or bits per second (bps). The transmission rate determines the speed of the communication link or channel and varies with different wireless technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi, ZigBee, etc. The transmission rate is the metric that indicates which technology is the fastest. In wireless communications, the transmission rate depends on several factors: the frequency band of the technology, modulation techniques, and the complexity of the transceiver.
As the transmission rate increases, it is possible to turn off the transmitter when not in use. With a faster transmission rate, the frequency of the intermittent transmitter turn-offs increase, resulting in reduced power consumption.
Considering the concept of transmission rates using Bluetooth as an example, we can describe this wireless technology as one with a low transmission rate. When using frequency-shift keying modulation, the transmission rate of Bluetooth classic is about 1Mbps. The data rate is enhanced up to 24 Mbps in Bluetooth low-energy (BLE). Since the transmission rate is higher than that of Bluetooth classic, BLE reduces power consumption and is significant in IoT applications. There are several other versions of Bluetooth available, and the table below gives their data transmission rates.
While we discuss the possible transmission rates of various Bluetooth versions that transmit data within the 2.4 GHz band, we must also examine the meaning of bandwidth in Bluetooth. Bluetooth technology uses the frequency hopping spread spectrum technique to spread data, which is transmitted as packets. Data packets are transmitted over 79 designated Bluetooth channels. Each of these channels are separated by 1 MHz, and this defines the bandwidth of the Bluetooth classic channel. In Bluetooth low-energy, the bandwidth is double that of Bluetooth classic. BLE uses 40 channels, each with 2 MHz bandwidth. In general, Bluetooth technology offers low bandwidth communication.
Transmission Rate vs. Bandwidth
Even though Bluetooth and WiFi use radio waves for data transfers over short distances without a wire connection, they are different in terms of transmission rate and bandwidth. WiFi offers greater bandwidth in data transfer and is faster than Bluetooth. WiFi comes under the IEEE 802.11 network specification. IEEE 802.11a standard WiFi communication offers a 54 Mbps data transmission rate, whereas IEEE 802.11n gives 600 Mbps. Compared to Bluetooth, WiFi is a high-speed (transmission rate), high bandwidth wireless communication technology.
Bluetooth technology is commonly used in IoT product development due to its low power consumption as well as the reduced risk of remote attacks. When comparing transmission rates vs. bandwidth for Bluetooth and WiFi, WiFi comes out as the superior choice, although additional power sources need to be directly connected to the IoT devices to meet communication power requirements. Therefore, for low-power IoT devices, Bluetooth low-energy is the better option.
Cadence can help you develop IoT devices utilizing Bluetooth, WiFi, or 5G. Cadence’s OrCAD software offers hardware and software prototyping that helps designers design and simulate IoT devices.
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