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Bluetooth vs BLE-difference between Bluetooth and BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy)

This page Bluetooth vs BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) covers difference between bluetooth and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technologies.The difference between various terms are also provided here.

Bluetooth and BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy) are Wireless Personal Area Network(WPAN) standards. Bluetooth Low Energy is developed to take care of sending small chunks of data. It's designed to run Internet of Things(IoT) devices using coin cells.

As we know bluetooth is used for network requiring data exchange as well as wireless headset and other consumer devices. BLE is used for applications such as mobile payment, healthcare, ticketing or access control. Both technology based devices are low cost. Both bluetooth and BLE networks consist of master and slave devices.


It is a wireless technology around us in all the mobile devices. As we know using bluetooth we can transfer text files, photos, videos and more between mobile phones and other electronic devices. It operates in 2.4 GHz band and it forms PAN (Personal Area Network) for communication.

As bluetooth is a Connection Oriented technology, connection need to be established first between bluetooth compliant devices before data transfer takes place. The standard is managed by Bluetooth SIG. There are various versions of bluetooth based on speed and coverage range.
Refer Bluetooth tutorial and versions.

BLE-Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth version 4.0 is known as Bluetooth Low Energy or BLE. It is also referred by other names such as Bluetooth smart or Wibree. It is low power variation of original traditional bluetooth standard. Like Bluetooth, it is also managed and maintained by Bluetooth SIG. Due to low power consumption and low power sleep modes, BLE devices can be operated using coin cell for years.

It operates in the same band as standard bluetooth but uses different FHSS scheme. As BLE devices are incompatible with standard bluetooth devices, they will not interoperate with them. In order to have interoperability between classic or traditional bluetooth and BLE devices dual mode devices having protocol stack of both need to be developed. Dual mode BLE hardware chips have been developed by many vendors such as CSR, Broadcom, Nordic semiconductor, EM Microelectronics, Texas Instruments etc.
Refer BLE basics.

Tabular difference between Bluetooth and BLE

Following table mentions difference between bluetooth and BLE technologies.

Specifications Bluetooth BLE(Bluetooth Low Energy)
Network/Topology Scatternet Star Bus
Power consumption Low (less than 30 mA) Very Low (less than 15 mA)
Speed 700 Kbps 1 Mbps
Range <30 m 50 meters( 150 meters in open field)
RF Frequency band 2400 MHz 2400 MHz
Frequency Channels 79 channels from 2.400 GHz to 2.4835 GHz with 1 MHz spacing 40 channels from 2402MHz to 2480 MHz (includes 3 advertising and 37 data channels)
Modulation GFSK (modulation index 0.35) , π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK GFSK (modulation index 0.5)
Latency in data transfer between two devices Approx. 100 ms Approx. 3 ms
Spreading FHSS (1MHz channel) FHSS (2MHz channel)
Link layer TDMA TDMA
message size(bytes) 358 (Max) 8 to 47
Error detection/correction 8 bit CRC(header), 16 bit CRC, 2/3 FEC(payload), ACKs 24 bit CRC, ACKs
Security 64b/128b, user defined application layer 128 bits AES, user defined application layer
Application throughput 0.7 to 2.1 Mbps less than 0.3 Mbps
Nodes/Active Slaves 7 Unlimited

Bluetooth BLE Related Links

Also refer bluetooth tutorial covering following sub topics:
Main Page  Frequency  PHY Layer  MAC layer  Stack  Power classes  Security  products  versions  Bluetooth Vs BLE 

What is Difference between

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Bluetooth vs zigbee

IoT Wireless Technologies

WLAN    ➤THREAD    ➤EnOcean    ➤LoRa    ➤SIGFOX    ➤WHDI   
Zigbee   ➤6LoWPAN   ➤Zigbee RF4CE   ➤Z-Wave   ➤NFC   ➤RFID   ➤INSTEON  

RF and Wireless Terminologies

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