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Bluetooth Addresses & Privacy in Bluetooth Low Energy

By Mohammad Afaneh | April 6, 2020 |

Like a MAC address for LAN connected devices, Bluetooth devices also have an identity address associated with each device. Understanding how Bluetooth addresses work is crucial for every BLE developer, especially when device privacy is a concern. So, what is a Bluetooth Address? A Bluetooth address sometimes referred to as a Bluetooth MAC address, is a 48-bit value that uniquely identifies a Bluetooth device. In the Bluetooth specification, it is referred to as BD_ADDR. Per the Bluetooth Core specification document, there are two main types of Bluetooth addresses: public and random addresses. A Bluetooth device must use one of these…

A Deep Dive into BLE Packets and Events

By Mohammad Afaneh | March 30, 2020 |

In BLE, there are many events and operations that can be exchanged between a Peripheral and a Central. Understanding these events is imperative for any BLE developer, and there are two aspects to achieving this: Learn the concepts in theory. Learn by analyzing them using a Bluetooth analyzer (sniffer) captures. I believe these two methods go hand in hand in helping achieve a full understanding of BLE. We cover the first aspect in my Intro to Bluetooth Low Energy book (which you can download for free here or purchase in paperback format). In this post, we will go through a number…

Getting Started with the New Silicon Labs BG22 Chipset

By Mohammad Afaneh | March 23, 2020 |

Today (March 23, 2020), Silicon Labs released the next generation of their Bluetooth SoCs: the EFR32BG22 chipset family. The chipset features an ARM Cortex-M33 which supports the latest version of Bluetooth: version 5.2 (including features from versions 5.1 and 5.0). More importantly, the chipset features the following enhancements: Significantly lower power consumption compared to the previous generations (up to 60% lower) Enhanced security features including a Hardware-Accelerated Crypto, a True Random Number Generator (TRNG), Secure Boot with Root of Trust and Secure Loader (RTSL), Secure Debug with Lock/Unlock, and ARM TrustZone. Here’s a table that provides a comparison of the…

Introduction to BLE Mobile Development [iOS]

By Mohammad Afaneh | March 16, 2020 |

This tutorial represents a small portion of a complete course on BLE development for iOS in the Bluetooth Developer Academy. The course was developed in partnership with Anas Imtiaz, PhD. In this tutorial, we will look at developing iPhone/iPad apps that interface with a Bluetooth Low Energy peripheral to send/receive data. We will start by looking at Core Bluetooth, which is a framework provided by Apple to make BLE development easy through the use of APIs to perform different actions. We will also look at the process of setting up a project in Xcode for BLE development, looking at the…

The Ultimate Guide to What’s New in Bluetooth version 5.2

By Mohammad Afaneh | March 9, 2020 |

Introduction A couple of months ago at CES 2020 (January 2020), the Bluetooth SIG introduced the latest version of Bluetooth, version 5.2. This announcement was made alongside the announcement of the next generation of Bluetooth audio, named: LE Audio. The major change introduced in version 5.2 is a new feature called Isochronous Channels (ISOC). ISOC lays the foundation for the implementation of LE Audio in BLE devices, supporting Bluetooth 5.2 or later. However, ISOC is not the only newly added feature in this latest version. In today’s post, we’ll look at the three major features introduced in version 5.2, two…

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