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By Rich Handley

Telink Semiconductor Releases SDK Compatible With New Bluetooth SIG Standard

Telink Semiconductor, a developer of integrated low-power radio-frequency and mixed signal system chips for Internet of Things (IoT) applications, has announced the availability of a software development kit (SDK) that is compatible with the new Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) specification supporting mesh-networking capability, announced last month. This complements the company's own proprietary Bluetooth mesh-networking protocol that Telink previously offered to customers, with additional features such as real-time updates and synchronized control for lighting, health-care and industrial-control applications.

Bluetooth has traditionally been used for point-to-point communications—pairing devices with each other so that they can communicate. But mesh-networking support, the company notes, 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 Internet of Things (IIoT) and advanced manufacturing solutions.

According to ABI Research, 48 billion internet-enabled devices are expected to be installed by 2021, nearly one-third of which will include Bluetooth capability. The Bluetooth SIG expects that Bluetooth mesh networking will make the largest initial impact in commercial lighting and industrial applications.

Telink Semiconductor has been offering its own proprietary Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) mesh-networking protocol for several years. Last year, the company announced that its BLE system-on-chip and mesh-networking technologies 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 compatible with the new Bluetooth SIG mesh-networking specification. In addition to meeting the standard spec, Telink's devices can update in real time, with presence information sharing on the network to reflect multiple nodes' status automatically. In addition, the system supports a synchronized 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 or off, or controlled at the same time.

These features are suitable for applications that use many-to-many device communications, the company reports. In smart home control, for instance, BLE mesh technology can support multiple terminals to control several smart devices simultaneously in real time. Telink's network traffic control technology enables the system to update and reflect the status of multiple smart devices on every control terminal in time and automatically. Without this capability, the company explains, inconsistent control could result, which might lead to devices and controllers not being in synch.

Telink Semiconductor provides customers with a number of mesh development kits, according to their design requirements and capabilities, either as a turnkey solution or as a reference design. This includes development tools for Bluetooth mesh applications, such as reference schematics and layouts, an integrated SDK, tool chains and reference application source codes.

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