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A matter of protocol

Bluetooth is today’s hot technology. But what’s involved in its protocol stack? By Graham Pitcher.

Although it seems a lot longer, Bluetooth has only been around for a couple of years. But, during that time, it has managed to gain a position in the forefront of the communications industry to the point where, today, it is the 'go to' technology for short range links.

The Bluetooth protocol stack can be divided into four layers, according to their purposes: Bluetooth Core Protocols, cable replacement protocols, telephony control protocols and adopted protocols. In addition, the Bluetooth specification also defines a host controller interface (hci), which provides a command interface to the baseband controller and link manager, as well as access to hardware status and control registers. Core protocols include the baseband, link manager protocol (lmp), the logical link and control adaptation protocol (L2CAP) and the service discovery protocol (sdp). Rfcomm, within the cable replacement protocol is a serial cable emulation, whilst the telephony control protocols include TCS binary and AT commands. Completing the protocol stack are a range of adopted protocols, including point to point protocols (PPP), UDP/TCP/IP and infrared mobile communications.

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Graham Pitcher

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