The Special Interest Group working on Bluetooth technology has announced that Bluetooth 3.0 will be launched formally on the 21st of April.
The third generation Bluetooth is expected to be at least 18 times faster than the current 2.0+ EDR version according to the Bluetooth SIG, the industry entity overseeing the development of Bluetooth.
Bluetooth 3.0 is likely to reach data rates of up to 480Mbps over short distances (6 feet or less) which will make it well suited for utra high speed personal area network. For distances up to 30 feet, the speed is expected to fall down to 53.3 Mbps (ed: that's the theoretical maximum, real life speeds are likely to be much less).
BT 3.0 is also very likely to be a serious competitor to the wireless USB standard which is set to reach similar speeds when the first devices using this technology are launched.
Bluetooth 3.0 will be compatible with the earlier generations with speeds going down a notch, as it is the case for USB and for WIFi. Speaking of WiFi, the third iteration of Bluetooth technology seems to share quite a few technicalities with WiFi.
The SIG released some more details saying that "It is a Generic Alternate MAC/PHY (AMP) that will enable Bluetooth profiles to take advantage of 802.11 speeds. The 802.11 Protocol Adaption Layer (PAL) will enable the Generic AMP feature to be used with an 802.11 radio".
According to Extremetech, generic WiFi packets and those originating from Bluetooth devices will coexist on the same network simultaneously using time-slicing.
Bluetooth is probably the most widespread wireless technology around due to the fact that it is implemented in most modern smartphones and laptops. However, the lack of seamless integration with other consumer electronics devices (portable game consoles or digital photo frames) is hampering its growth.
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With Ultrawideband now dead, only Wireless USB can stop Bluetooth 3.0 from becoming the defacto PAN wireless technology. WiFi still uses too much power to be considered for devices like smartphones. Bluetooth 2.0 adapters are widely available and with prices starting at around £3, they are set to become more popular with time. However, integration as always, is the Achille's heel of the technology. Let's hope that BT 3.0 solves it and brings wireless USB speeds to our desktops.
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