Bluetooth body tweaks qualification program

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group hopes to drive the development of low-cost Bluetooth devices by making its certification process more automated and hassle-free.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) has made available new tools, which make up part of the group's Qualification Program, to help companies develop Bluetooth devices more efficiently.

In the Qualification Program, manufacturers of Bluetooth devices undergo a series of processes to certify their products and components. This ensures their devices are interoperable and conform to specifications on the wireless technology.

"Bluetooth technology and the Bluetooth brand are both evolutionary and global. As the technology adapts, so must our process of Bluetooth qualification," said Michael Foley, executive director of the Bluetooth SIG, in a media statement.

Established in 1998, the group is a privately-held trade association focusing on the development of Bluetooth technology, and comprises players from various industries including telecommunications, computing and automotive.

This marks the first time a complete list of all qualified Bluetooth products is made available online.

The changes are aimed at helping to automate some of the qualification process, and provide more consistency in how the process is applied, according to Bluetooth SIG.

These will reduce the time and cost of certifying products and components, enabling group members to more quickly bring products to market.

"Streamlined systems that reduce development costs (of Bluetooth devices) ultimately provide savings that are passed onto the consumer," Foley said.

"The automated processes and additional testing requirements are in preparation for what we believe to be an onslaught of new products and applications, (coming from) a variety of industry sectors including automotive and audio."

The updated program include improvements made to existing tools, as well as new additions such as:

  • The Program Reference Documents, which will give members the ability to self-declare their products are qualified in lieu of going through a Bluetooth Qualification Body (BQB). This document asserts that the requirements of the Bluetooth Specifications and qualification must be met.
  • The Test Plan Generator (TPG), which provides companies with an online test plan that allows members to complete the process online, and automatically generates the testing requirements based on an expected qualification date. The TPG eliminates the previous complex process which required members to derive their own testing requirements from a multitude of documents.
  • The Qualification Listing Interface, which enables members to list their products online after completing the Bluetooth Qualification Process, in accordance with the newly-approved PRD 2.0 specification. This marks the first time a complete list of all qualified Bluetooth products is made available online.
  • The Enhanced UnPlugFests, which are week-long engineering test events focusing on improving implementations and specifications, with special emphasis on interoperability.
  • The Profile Tuning Suite, which is a new tool that makes the qualification testing process easier and more precise, as well as assists member companies in debugging, testing, and certifying Bluetooth devices.