Adding Mesh Networking to Bluetooth Smart to Spur New Wave of Innovation
Going beyond point-to-point type of Bluetooth data communication, Bluetooth Mesh Networking is a compelling option as the last meters implementation of the IoT (Internet of Things) sensor and actuator devices. Being fast, secure, power efficient, low-cost, smartphone-friendly and requiring very little management effort, Bluetooth Mesh devices are poised to lead the standard in home and small-scale building automation. In fact, Bluetooth Mesh Networking not just for the smart homes and smart buildings, but also for every vertical application using Bluetooth Smart.
CSRmesh from Qualcomm is an implementation of a flood mesh network using only BLE 4.0 (aka Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 or Bluetooth Smart) broadcast and scan transport mechanisms.
CSRmesh Network Operations
CSRmesh does not require making connection or maintaining a connection between devices in the mesh network to send or receive commands and data. Mesh network operations within a mesh node run at the same time whilst maintaining other types of incoming BLE connections under GATT profile. This allows mesh nodes to work with both mesh and non-mesh BLE devices such as smartphones and gateway devices.
Mesh messages are propagated within the mesh network to extend the coverage beyond the range of single nodes. Each node in the mesh network can perform the relay function. Communications are encrypted on a per message basis; only authorized members of the nework understand the messages. Network keys used for message encryption are generated from pass phrases on smartphone mesh controller apps. The encryption keys are securely distributed from the smartphones to the nodes during device registration and provisioning. A maximum of 64,000 devices can be registered in a network. Nodes can participate in one or more groups in a network.
CSRmesh Deployment Advantages
CSRmesh technology has advantages over routed mesh technologies such as Zigbee. There is no message routing in CSRmesh network and therefore no setup time, no concept of router, coordinator of end devices. For example, adding or removing new devices to the mesh network does not require centralized hubs or management tools. All devices can be monitored and controlled via a standard smartphone. No hub or separate controller is required, which eliminates infrastructure management effort. Also, no extra memory or processing overhead is required. The beauty of power savings of BLE devices can be maintained. All mesh nodes are simple low cost Bluetooth Smart SoCs.
CSRmesh is much more than just range extension. The intelligence in the network is distributed across all its members. Your light bulb can proxy for heating sensor values so they can remain asleep most of the time. Your nodes can help you find your misplaced car keys by BLE RSSI. Your porch light comes on when you approach your front door at night by proximity – no other sensors are required.
GT-tronics offers an array of RF modules such as BE110RPA and BE111RPA, as well as development kits, firmware and smartphone app source code for customers to evaluate CSRmesh technology or to target at mass production deployment. Please contact our representatives or distributors for more information.
Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart are regisgered trademarks of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. CSRmesh is a trademark of CSR plc.