Bluetooth Frequency Hop Selection Kernel Impact on "Inter-Piconet" Interference


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Virginia Tech


The Bluetooth wireless transmission standard provides a low-power data link between electronic devices over relatively short ranges. These links, also known as piconets, transmit using frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) to send information over the air. As more applications for Bluetooth technology become available, the number of Bluetooth devices will continue to increase. With this increase in use, there will be a decrease in performance that can be attributed to Bluetooth "inter-piconet" interference. To date, very little has been published on the subject of inter-piconet interference. Previous studies have derived mean packet error rates for an increase in the number of piconets present. To come up with the mean rate, many papers make the assumption that the probability of a Bluetooth device hopping to a channel is random. However, making this assumption does not explain what happens in real time.

This research gives some insight into what really happens when multiple piconets are interfering in real time. Bluetooth devices actually use a frequency hopping algorithm to determine the hopping sequence. This algorithm has been implemented in software to test various aspects of inter-piconet interference. Previous studies have shown that synchronizing the clocks among neighboring piconets will result in an increase in performance. This study shows that there are cases where synchronization alone will not provide sufficient improvement. Experimental testing has been conducted to validate some of the simulated results. Adjacent channel interference was observed during experimentation. This contradicts previous research, which has assumed that adjacent channel interference is insignificant.



Synchronization, Hop selection kernel, Inter-piconet, Piconet, Bluetooth, Interference