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How does Bluetooth 5 perform in everyday use?

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Published by by Christine Schulze

Rutronik experts have checked this in extensive practical tests

Experts at Rutronik have conducted extensive real-world tests on the latest generation of Bluetooth Low Energy and have analyzed the performance of the wireless standard under various conditions. Their aim was to identify new fields of application for the technology and to check the validity of common marketing claims under real-world conditions.  

The measurements were carried out in an open field, a forest, an urban shopping mall, and offices in order to simulate different areas of use. The tests were conducted using a prototype of the Nordic nRF52840 for the hardware and an alpha version of Soft Device S140 for the software. The tests were carried out with two preview development kits (PDKs). Both PDKs were linked and moved further and further apart to measure the power consumption, data throughput, and range of the Bluetooth 5 line.

Some results:

  • a significant increase in range compared to the previous version, Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2
  • a simultaneous reduction in energy consumption

Detailed results are summarised in a whitepaper. In addition, the whitepaper provides also a brief summary of the specifications of the Bluetooth standard and an overview of relevant products. It is available for download at www.rutronik.com/bt5wp.

Rutronik Supports Young Researchers

The whitepaper is the result of a bachelor thesis written by a Pforzheim University student who interned at Rutronik, where he was responsible for studying the performance of Bluetooth 5.

“Supporting university students is a matter of course for us. Working on projects and the opportunity to contribute their own ideas to academic research not only benefits our students – we as a company also profit from their ideas and can directly pass on the knowledge we gain to our customers as added value at no charge,” says Bernd Hantsche, Marketing Director Embedded and Wireless at Rutronik.


About Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH

Rutronik Electronics Worldwide Logo

Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH is the third largest distributor in Europe (European Distribution Report 2017) and the number eleven worldwide (SourceToday, May 2018). The broadline distributor supplies semiconductors, passive and electromechanical components as well as boards, storage, displays & wireless products. The company's primary target markets are the automotive, medical, industrial, home appliance, energy and lighting industries. The ranges RUTRONIK EMBEDDED, RUTRONIK SMART, RUTRONIK POWER and RUTRONIK AUTOMOTIVE provide customers with specific products and services in groups tailored to the respective applications. Expert technical support for product development and design-in, individual logistics and supply chain management solutions as well as comprehensive services complete its scope of performance.

The company, founded by Helmut Rudel in 1973 in Ispringen, Germany, now has over 70 subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Rutronik employs more than 1,600 staff worldwide and achieved Group sales of 950 million euros in the fiscal year 2017.

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