6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2018 7:55 AM by Intel Corporation

    How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?

    robingtx

      Dear all,

       

      I reach out to you on behalf of our company, and our development team responsible for software applications that control a (so-called) active-implantable medical device for stimulation of the nervous system.

      In our new software development project for an upcoming therapy, we are communicating an Android device, with a Windows-10 system over Bluetooth 4. Our medical system context requires us to use BLE (BT4) for all communication. In our setup, we define the Android device as being the Central, and the Windows system as being the Peripheral. This is conform the BLE standard, where the peripheral can only communicate with 1 Central.

      Our developed software applications for Android and Windows successfully configure both sides and communication works.

       

      In our test setup, we are using an Intel NUC as the Windows-10 system, which supports the Bluetooth Peripheral Role (reports TRUE). See attachment 1 from Windows device manager:

       

      The Intel Wireless Bluetooth device hardware ID states: VID=8087 (Intel) PID=0A2B (no idea which variant and can't find this on Intel website)

       

      Our problem

      For different customers, we want to deploy different Windows 10-based hardware (computers).

      For example, we have also deployed the latest Surface Pro 4 (2017). However, our Windows application throws an exception that the Intel Wireless Bluetooth does not support Low Energy Peripheral Role and as such, we cannot set up communication over BLE between our devices. If we check the same Windows Device Manager dialog we see:

       

      Bluetooth Radio supports Low Energy Peripheral Role
      <false>

       

      So, we understand the cause.

      The hardware ID of this Surface Pro states VID=8087 (Intel) but PID=0A2A (still, no idea what device this is, but it's different than the one in the Nuc!)

      We see the same with other systems, some HPs, Dells, even some Mini PCs. It's a roulette game whereby only after buying hardware, we discover if the system supports Peripheral or not.

      Also because Intel seems to list all these different devices as "Intel Wireless Bluetooth" and "Bluetooth 4.0". Even though the capabilities vary.

      Please note that the test and development team have ensured the comparison was done with equal windows version and equal releases of the Intel driver software (tested different 19 and 20 releases)

       

      Our questions

      - Are we correct to conclude that the issue lies on the hardware variant (Bluetooth Radio)? Some 'variants' of the Intel Wireless Bluetooth support peripheral and some do not.

      - Where can we find datasheet or technical specifications about what device 0A2B and 0A2A exactly are and what their differences are? A link is appreciated highly.

      - Most importantly: how can we know before purchasing systems by volume, if a Windows-10 system features the Intel Bluetooth Chipset that supports peripheral role.

       

      Your help is greatly appreciated to the progress of our work,

        • 1. Re: How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello robingtx,

          Thanks for posting in our communities.

          The Intel® Wireless Bluetooth® shares hardware with the Intel® Wireless Adapter on the computer. What Bluetooth* specification is supported on each adapter is specified on the adapter product brief general information. For example, the Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 comes with Bluetooth 4,2 BLE:

          Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 Product Brief

          What are the wireless adapters models on the systems that can work with the central via Bluetooth vs the ones that can't?

          Best regards,
          Eugenio F.

          1 of 1 people found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?
            robingtx

            Dear Eugenio,

             

            You are getting us on the right track, thanks.

            For the two test systems we have currently (today) in house for which 1 works in LE Peripheral and the other does not, the wireless adapters are:

             

            - Intel Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 : For which in Device Manager, we find that the Bluetooth Radio does support Low Energy Peripheral Role

            - Intel Dual-Band Wireless AC 3165 : For which in Device Manager, we find that the Bluetooth radio does not support Low Energy Peripheral Role

             

            However, when looking at the 3165 Product Brief, I cannot find an explicit mentioning of whether it supports Peripheral Role or not.

            Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 3165 Product Brief

             

            Are there more elaborate datasheets available (apart from the Product Brief) that display all Bluetooth features (or services) supported by the Chipset?

            This will help us select machines (Windows 10 systems) with an Intel chipset of which we know beforehand that it supports Peripheral role.

            • 3. Re: How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?
              Intel Corporation
              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

              Hello robingtx,

              Thanks for your reply.

              Both Intel® Dual-Band Wireless-AC 8265 and Intel® Dual-Band Wireless AC 3165 support Bluetooth 4.2 BLE. This tell us not all adapters support multi-role even if compliant with the same Bluetooth standard. Since some features are modified by OEM  (Original Equipment Manufacturer) when integrating the cards on their systems, it's not safe to assume all Bluetooth 4.X BLE adapters support Peripheral role.

              Datasheets and more complex specifications for Intel® Wireless adapters are provided directly to OEM and aren't publicly available.

              I'll review this thread with out engineers to confirm if there's a certain way to identify if a system supports Bluetooth LE Peripheral role before purchasing it. We'll let you know as soon we have news.

              Best regards,
              Eugenio F.

              • 5. Re: How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?
                Intel Corporation
                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                Hello robingtx,

                Please check your private messages.

                Best regards,
                Eugenio F.

                • 6. Re: How to tell if an Intel-based system supports Bluetooth 4 Peripheral role?
                  Intel Corporation
                  This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                  Hello robingtx,

                   

                  Thanks for your patience.

                   

                  After consulting with our engineers we learned that all BT/BLE features are optional to implement. Even if an adapter is BT 4.X compliant, this does not guarantee that a capability present on a different adapter will be supported.

                   

                  Intel wireless adapters released after 2015 (such as Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265) support BLE Peripheral role. You can find the launch date for our adapters at our Product Specification site. However, please confirm with the OEM before purchasing.

                   

                  Even though Windows 10* updates automatically, it is important to keep in mind that Windows 10* Redstone 2 (1703) is required for BLE Peripheral role support.

                   

                  Please let us know if there's anything else we can do for you.

                   

                  Best regards,
                  Eugenio F.