Does Bluetooth Advanced follow the BT SIG recommendations?
The Bluetooth Advanced tester is for BLE only (4.x). It is not for BT Classic (1.0 to 3.x). Measurements you can perform with Bluetooth Advanced include:
- TX output power
- In-band emissions
- Modulation characteristics
- Carrier frequency offset and drift
- RX sensitivity
LitePoint closely follows BT SIG documentation; however the key difference is in the test method. The BT SIG tests are defined with the following assumptions:
- DUT has “test mode” firmware that supports BT SIG special functions.
- DUT has digital control (such as UART) to set up test modes.
- DUT has RF connector.
The key benefit of LitePoint Bluetooth Advanced is that it does not require any of this; and the DUT is being tested in an environment that much more closely emulates how the device will be used in the real world. In many situations, such as a final product, it is not practical or desirable for the DUT to have the special functions that the BT SIG requires. This is where the Bluetooth Advanced solution is ideal:
- Does NOT require special DUT FW or functions.
- Does NOT require control or connections of any kind.
- Does NOT require RF connection.
This impacts how the tests are run. Therefore, we cannot claim we exactly follow the BT SIG document.
- BT SIG requires the DUT to transmit special non-standard packets (alternating 1s and 0s, or long strings of 1s and 0s). Since we are testing the DUT with standard firmware, the packets from the DUT are more like “random data”.
- We analyze the data to look for data patterns that closely match BT SIG recommendation.
- We calculate RF measurements (above) based on the data pattern that we find in the DUT transmission.
- BT SIG requires special “dirty packets” to be transmitted by the tester and received by the DUT. This is very non-standard in the real world. We simply send normal packets and calculate PER or RX sensitivity based on the DUT abilty to receive these standard packets.
LitePoint also has a BT “tethered solution”, which uses the same HW platform as Bluetooth Advanced but has different SW and licenses. The tethered solution requires test mode FW, digital control, and usually an RF connector. With both solutions available, you can select the one that best meets your needs.