With the rise of the concept of the Internet of Things, the Internet of everything has gradually become a trend, making most of today’s electronic devices with Bluetooth transmission functions. The new Bluetooth 5 standard is the tenth version of Bluetooth since its inception in 1999, which is ideal for applications in the field of wireless wearables, industrial and smart homes. However, it’s worth noting whether Bluetooth technology products can be mass-produced depends on whether the chip manufacturing technology can keep up. Bluetooth beacon chips are an important carrier for the transformation of this new technology into products.
The market size of Bluetooth chip solutions
Since Bluetooth chips are often sold as system solutions, users pay more attention to the integration of Bluetooth chips, the overall cost of the solution, and the difficulty of implementation. In 2022, there will be 1.48 billion IoT terminal devices releasing demand for Bluetooth chips. According to the latest “2022 Bluetooth Market Update” report released by the Bluetooth SIG, the annual shipment of Bluetooth devices is expected to exceed 7 billion for the first time in 2026.
Bluetooth chip applications include computers, multimedia, automobiles, consumer electronics, smartphones, tablet computers, Bluetooth speakers, Bluetooth headsets, etc. The rapid development of the consumer electronics market has released a large demand for Bluetooth chips and promoted the development of the Bluetooth chip industry. At the same time, the expansion and deepening of emerging application areas such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of vehicles have driven the growth of Bluetooth beacon chip shipments.
A classification of Bluetooth beacon chip
The Bluetooth beacon chip refers to a collection of circuits integrating Bluetooth functions for short-range wireless communication. The main application scenarios of Bluetooth chips mainly include data transmission, audio transmission, location service, and device networking. Bluetooth chips fall into classic Bluetooth chips and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) chips according to the Bluetooth transmission standard.
① The classic Bluetooth chip uses the SBC encoding format, which is often used to transmit audio, files and other scenarios, and has high power consumption.
② The BLE chip adopts the LC3 encoding format, which is often used in scenarios such as device matching, data synchronization, and positioning, and has the advantages of low power consumption and low latency.
The classic Bluetooth chip supports audio transmission and is often used in audio transmission equipment such as wireless headsets, smart speakers, and car speakers. BLE beacon chips are often used for non-audio data transmission, and the core application areas are data transmission, location services, and device networks.
The definition and classification of Bluetooth modules
The Bluetooth module is a set of chip basic circuits integrating Bluetooth functions. By accessing the same personal area network through a wireless connection, the Bluetooth modules achieve the wireless interconnection and communication between fixed or mobile information devices.
Based on their function, Bluetooth modules can be divided into Bluetooth data modules, Bluetooth audio modules, and SoCs that combine voice and data.
- Bluetooth data module realizes wireless data transmission;
- Bluetooth audio module realizes wireless data transmission of voice and stereo audio;
- The voice and data composite SoC can realize voice and data transmission in the meantime.
According to the application and support protocol, the Bluetooth module is divided into a classic Bluetooth module (BT module) and a low-power Bluetooth module (BLE module).
- Classic Bluetooth module: It generally refers to the module that supports Bluetooth 4.0 protocol and below, and is typically used to transmit a relatively large amount of data, such as voice, music, video, etc.
- Low-power Bluetooth module: This refers to modules that support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher protocol and come with low cost and low power. Bluetooth low energy modules are mainly used in products with high real-time requirements and low data transmission rates, such as remote control devices like mice and keyboards, and sensing devices like heart rate belts, temperature sensors, and blood pressure monitors.
Technical transmission principle of Bluetooth beacon chip
Bluetooth chip technology, as a short-range wireless communication technology, effectively simplifies the communication between mobile communication terminal devices, as well as their communication with the Internet. Therefore, the transmission of data between these modern communications devices and the Internet has become faster and more efficient, and the path of wireless communication has been widened.
Master-slave relationship: Bluetooth chip technology stipulates that each pair of devices must have a primary role and the other a secondary role in Bluetooth communication, so as to communicate. During the communication, the primary end must search for the data. After the pair is initiated and the link is established successfully, the two sides can send and receive data.
Call-matching process: The primary Bluetooth device initiates a call and starts searching for surrounding Bluetooth devices. After finding the secondary device, you can start pairing and connecting. Note that paired devices do not need to be re-paired the next time they make a call. Both master and slave devices in the communication state can initiate disconnection and disconnect the Bluetooth link.
Data transmission: Perhaps one of the most common applications of Bluetooth chip data transmission is one-to-one serial data communication. The pairing information between two Bluetooth devices is preset before the devices leave the factory. The primary end pre-stores the PIN code, address, etc. of the secondary end device.
How to select the best Bluetooth chipset for your business
Now that we’ve covered the basics of Bluetooth beacon chip and devices, there are many details and issues to consider when choosing a Bluetooth chipset. The development of Bluetooth technology will continue to be deeply explored around BLE, such as the foreseeable future: Bluetooth broadcast audio, Bluetooth location, Bluetooth mesh, etc. are all based on BLE technology.
Although there are many choices, the key link of type selection cannot be ignored. And the result of type selection will directly affect the cost performance and development cycle of products. Here, we will show you some examples and references for selecting Bluetooth chips.
|Bluetooth chip manufacturer||Application scenarios|
|Bluetooth audio chip||Choices depend on product positioning and the cost of services.|
You can choose Qualcomm, Actions, and Bestechnic for high-end products, and Bluetrum, Jieli, and Buildwin for mid-range products.
|Bluetooth speakers: portable, desktop, square dance, etc.|
Bluetooth earphones: sporty, on-ear
Early SPP transparent transmission modules developed using this chip such as HC-05
|Bluetooth BLE solution||For low-power application scenarios, you can choose TI, Nordic, Dialog, and the average broadcast power consumption is controlled below 20uA, but the cost is relatively high.|
If you don’t need ultra-low power consumption and simply transmit data, there are many options to choose from, such as Jieli, Buildwin, Phyplus, Bluetrum, etc.
The cost is advantageous due to large chip shipments.
|Smart bracelet, positioning, anti-lost, object finding, Selfie, etc.|
Shared bike Bluetooth unlock
Industrial Bluetooth data transmission application
|Bluetooth data transmission solution, dual-mode BLE and SPP||At present, there are only Jieli and ST in this market, and the cost is medium.|
You can choose Bluetooth audio chip, low cost, performance will not be discounted
|Vehicle OBD data transmission|
|Bluetooth audio + dual-mode data||You can choose Bluetooth audio chip, low cost, performance will not be discounted|
This market is actually merged with the Bluetooth audio market, fully enjoying the low cost and high performance brought by a large number of chips and full competition.
|The current main application market, the large shipments make the chip cost low and the application scenarios are the most abundant.|
Low cost, flexible development, supports BLE and SPP, and supports audio.
Because it is compatible with audio, the power consumption is relatively high, it is not suitable for low-power products
Development trend of the Bluetooth beacon chip industry
In the global BLE market, high-end Bluetooth beacon chip products are mainly monopolized by European and American Bluetooth chip manufacturers. The representative enterprises mainly include Nordic, Dialog, TI, ST, Cypress, Silicon Lab, etc., which have abundant technology and resources and first-mover advantages. They have a high market share in the global Bluetooth Low Energy chip market, with Nordic leading with a 40% share.
At present, there are many players in China’s Bluetooth chip industry, but most of them lack deep technical accumulation. Therefore, the Chinese local Bluetooth chip manufacturers mainly focus on the low-end Bluetooth chip market, with small profit margins.
The following will show you the four main Bluetooth chip industry development trends:
- Chinese manufacturers break the monopoly of the high-end Bluetooth chip market
- The high-end Bluetooth chip market by Europe and the United States monopoly situation is expected to break
- BLEA will unleash productivity for Android TWS vendors
- Wireless connection is becoming a trend, and Bluetooth integration is highlighted
In the surging tide of wireless Internet of Things, MOKO follows the trend to invest in the upcoming Internet of Things industry. MOKOBlue mainly focuses on the design of Bluetooth products and related solutions. And provide customers with the most cost-effective Bluetooth beacons, modules, and solutions.