News | May 5, 2005

Putting Bluetooth To The Test

High-quality equipment is needed for testing the new wave of Bluetooth devices to make sure they are up to standard.

By Young Dae Kim
TESCOM Co. Limited

Bluetooth technology is still in its early stages, but there is no doubt that this little wireless device will be ubiquitous because of its size, low power consumption, and low cost, although the cost goal is not yet fully realized. We have already begun seeing the devices appearing in many forms: in modules and various embedded products. It is essential that these devices adhere to common Bluetooth standards and be functionally interoperable. The devices are, however, quite sophisticated digital communication systems -- in spite of their low cost and mass production -- requiring very efficient and economic test methods. The test equipment must be fast, accurate and versatile enough to handle many types of devices and fully satisfy Bluetooth standard requirements. The TESCOM Bluetooth Tester TC-3000A is designed to meet these challenges:

System architecture of TC-3000A. TESCOM Bluetooth Tester TC-3000A is made up of two parts, an RF/DSP module and a host CPU module, connected by HCI and borrowing the same system concept of Bluetooth. The RF/DSP module provides RF interface to DUT, performs physical measurements and manages the Bluetooth link. The host CPU (PC), which runs on a Linux platform, takes care of user interface (UI) functions, including display, key input, and I/O controls (including RS-232C, USB, PCMCIA, LAN and other standard peripheral devices). Adopting open OS minimizes unnecessary constraints on system optimization. This simple, elegant system architecture takes advantage of high-performance DSP and the conveniences of PCs.

Protocol stack. TESCOM developed a quality protocol stack from the ground up in order to gain total control of performance and the feature set of the tester. Unique protocol stack architecture, using 'queues' between protocol layers, is conceptually simple and easy to apply. This approach helps guarantee the quality of the system, as well as efficient handling of future customization and enhancement requirements.

Versatility of TC-3000A. TC-3000A can interface with DUT through most known interfaces. Another feature is that the RF/DSP module can relinquish the control to external PC through standard HCI, allowing a Bluetooth development environment.

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