Telink Semiconductor, developer of highly integrated low power radio-frequency and mixed signal system chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, has announced the availability of an SDK (software development kit) which is fully compatible with the new Bluetooth SIG specification supporting mesh networking capability announced last month. This adds to its own proprietary Bluetooth mesh networking protocol that Telink Semiconductor previously offered to customers with additional unique features such as real-time updates and synchronised control for applications such as lighting, healthcare and industrial control.
Bluetooth has traditionally been known and established for point-to-point communications – pairing devices with each other to be able to communicate. But with mesh networking support, it opens up the use of Bluetooth for ‘many-to-many’ or multicast traffic device communications, making it suitable for implementing mesh networks in beacons, robotics, industrial automation, energy management, smart city applications, and other industrial IoT and advanced manufacturing solutions.
Bluetooth mesh networking utilises a managed flood approach for message transmission, which is a simple and reliable form of message relay that is uniquely suited for low-power wireless mesh networks, especially those handling a significant amount of multicast traffic. This makes flood-based message relay an ideal approach for the strict reliability, scalability, and performance requirements of commercial and industrial markets.
According to ABI Research, 48 billion internet-enabled devices are expected to be installed by 2021, of which nearly one-third will include Bluetooth; the Bluetooth SIG expects that Bluetooth mesh will make the largest initial impact in commercial lighting and industrial applications.
Telink Semiconductor has been offering its own proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) mesh networking protocol for several years – for example, last year the company announced that its BLE SoC chip and mesh technology are being used in connected LED light bulbs from GE Lighting, in its C by GE product family.
Now the company also provides an additional SDK fully compatible with the new Bluetooth SIG mesh specification. In addition to meeting the standard specification, Telink’s devices have unique features – such as being able to update in real-time with complete and efficient presence information sharing on the network to reflect multiple nodes’ status automatically. In addition, Telink mesh supports a synchronised control mechanism within multiple or large mesh networks, which in a smart lighting application for example can guarantee a large number of lights to be on/off or controlled at exactly same time.
These unique additional features offered by Telink Semiconductor are important in many applications that use many-to-many device communications. In smart home control for example, its BLE mesh technology can support multiple terminals to control multiple smart devices simultaneously in real time. Using Telink’s patented network traffic control technology, it enables the system to update and reflect the status of multiple smart devices on every control terminal in time and automatically; without this, it could result in inconsistent control and might lead to devices and controllers not being in in sync.
Telink Semiconductor provides customers with a number of different mesh development kits according to their design requirements and capabilities, either as a turnkey solution or as a reference design. This includes a full set of development tools for Bluetooth mesh applications, including reference schematics and layouts, integrated software development kit (SDK), tool chains and reference application source codes.