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I thought it might be interesting and instructive to carry out a brief comparison of TransferJet wireless technology with Bluetooth.  Both offer their own pros and cons which are worthwhile considering when developing applications that require devices to communicate with one another wirelessly.

Table of attributes

AreaAttributeBluetoothTransferJet
Radio FrequencyCarrier Frequency2400–2483.5 MHz4.48 GHz
Bandwidth40 channels @ 1MHz560 MHz
Range< 100 m< 10 cm
Power

1 mW - class 3
2.5 mW - class 2
100 mWatts - class 1

10-7 mW
Form FactorUSBYesuUSB (mobile) and USB (PC) form factors
SDIO ModuleYesYes
SDIO CardYesYes
Transfer Speed Up to 25 Mbps effective throughputUp to 375 Mbps effective throughput
PairingRequires PairingYesNo
SecurityAlgorithm

E0/SAFER+ (Bluetooth BR/EDR)
AES-CCM (Bluetooth BLE)

None but ciphers can be employed above CNL if needed depending on application requirements.
ProtocolsInterfaceRFCOMM-
Stack

LMP
L2CAP
SDP

CNL
PCL

OtherBNEP
AVCTP
AVDTP
TCSOBEX
PPP
UDP/TCP/IP
WAE/WEP

OBEX
SCSI

Standardized
Application Profiles
AudioGAVDP
A2DP
HSP 
-
VideoGAVDP
VDP
ControlAVRCP
TelephonyPASP
PASS
PBAP
CTP
HFP 
ImagingBIP
BPP 
NetworkingLAP
PAN
FTP
DUN 
OtherHID
HDP 

 

Key considerations for comparison

Bluetooth is a standard that has been around a very long time and is embedded in a huge range of technologies.  The supported profiles has grown over time to adopt a wide variety of use-cases (printing, imaging, networking, audio, video, health monitoring, etc).  The vast range of applications and interoperability aspects are a major advantage of Bluetooth over other technologies.  In contrast, relatively speaking, TransferJet is a new standard with a much smaller footprint of available applications and protocols.  This means that, in the short-term, applications developed for TransferJet will be largely proprietary and are unlikely to work seamlessly at the application level between Bluetooth and TransferJet technologies.

Bluetooth operates in the so called ISM band (2.4GHz) and must undergo radio conformance testing for co-existence/interference as other applications share this band (e.g., WiFi, ZigBee).  TransferJet sits in the UWB (Ultra Wide Band) allocation at 4.48GHz and, largely because of the very short transmission range and very low power output, does not have such stringent conformance testing requirements.  This is a benefit for product manufacturers wishing to integrate and deploy using TransferJet.

Bluetooth requires sophisticated security protocols and algorithms to prevent unauthorized usage, snooping, etc.  Bluetooth devices also must be paired before they can be used to prevent unintended or malicious usage.  However, because of the close proximity of operation and low power, TransferJet is inherently resilient to snooping attacks.  Moreover, no pairing is needed since the action of bringing devices into close proximity is regarded as an intent to pair.

Bluetooth transfer speeds are limited to 25 Mbps making it unsuitable for large bulk data transfer operations, high or broadcast quality video streaming.  In contrast, TransferJet can support up to 375 Mbps making high volumes of bulk data transfer readily achievable in very short period of time.  This is particularly important considering the "touch" method of activation and opens up new an interesting application domains such as fast back-up, bulk document printing, video file streaming or indeed a robust "wireless cable" as a USB replacement.

Conclusions

Owing to the inherent design differences in Bluetooth and TransferJet, one should not view these as competing technologies but rather complementary technologies each providing a distinct set of capabilities with a fairly minimal overlap.  A key factor to the success of TransferJet will be in the adoption of open frameworks, APIs, protocols and profiles that allow product manufacturers to speed their time to market and achieve interoperability across different vendors.

 

Icoteq is proud to announce the launch of its first product, the ICO-TTJ-500 hardware development platform.

The ICO-TTJ-500 is the ideal platform for those looking to evaluate the capability provided by Toshiba’s TJM35420XLQ TransferJet™ module or develop applications using this technology. This compact (10cm x 10cm) yet fully featured platform is based around Freescale’s i.MX6 quad core processor and provides a wide variety of hardware interfaces allowing developers to fully integrate this board into their own prototyping systems in  consumer, industrial or automotive applications.

For more information about ICO-TTJ-500, including pricing details and how to order follow http://www.icoteq.com/product/transferjet-i-mx6q-hardware-development-platform

For more information about TransferJetTM follow http://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/eu/product/wireless-communication/transferjet.html