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Trade-off Between Power Consumption and Performance in Bluetooth

Juan-Carlos Cano, José-Manuel Cano, Carlos T. Calafate, Eva González and Pietro Manzoni

Advancements in communication technologies, coupled with an increase of computer’s performance, are allowing us to enter the age of ubiquitous computing. The Bluetooth communication standard appears as a major solution in this new arena. Bluetooth was designed targeting low power systems from the beginning, and this design criteria should be maintained for Bluetooth to be widely accepted in the marketplace. In this paper we investigate the power characteristics of the Bluetooth technology when supporting low-power modes. We provide accurate power consumption measurements for different Bluetooth operating modes. Such information could be used to drive technical decisions on battery type and design of Bluetooth-based end systems. Finally, we examine the trade-off between power consumption and performance for a commercial off-the-shelf Bluetooth device. We find that the use of the sniff mode could be quite compatible with the use of multi-slot data packets. However, when the channel conditions require selecting single slot data packets, the sniff mode could have an impact on performance, and so the power/delay trade-off must be taken into consideration.

Keywords: Bluetooth, power consumption, performance evaluation.

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