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Palm Bluetooth Stack
(*Bluetooth stack add-on for Palm OS 4.0)

Palm Bluetooth Stack

Product Overview
This product is a software development kit (SDK) that addresses the needs of a diverse audience. For application developers, a comprehensive set of features allows for the development of both Bluetooth aware applications and applications that abstract the underlying Bluetooth transport mechanism. For hardware manufactures,
the HCI transport driver provides an abstraction layer for the stack, allowing a Bluetooth enabled peripheral to work over a serial port, Universal Connector, or SDIO.

Bluetooth is a promising new technology for the Palm OS. It is going make it possible for end-user customers to perform routine “connected” tasks easily without wires. Bluetooth will be used in enterprise and mobile Internet connections, HotSync, games, payment transactions, and other kinds of peer-to-peer data exchange.

The Palm Bluetooth Stack includes the following components:

- Add-on software for Palm OS 4.x
- A certified Bluetooth 1.1 compatible stack
- A Bluetooth Virtual Driver (Serial)
- A Bluetooth Exchange Library
- A Bluetooth developer API
- Sample Host Controller Interface (HCI) hardware drivers
- User interface components necessary for discovery, configuration, pairing,
passkey entry, sending data, and more
- New software components, samples, and test tools and applications in the
Palm Software and Product Development Kits

Key Features

Here is an overview of the components involved in Palm's Bluetooth architecture:

HCI Transport API

Bluetooth Transport API provides a programmer's interface to the HCI Transport

Bluetooth Library / Developer API

This is the programmer's interface to the Bluetooth stack itself. The API serves as an
abstraction layer to shield developers from stack specifics.

Bluetooth Virtual Driver (Serial) / BT VDRV

A new Virtual Driver for Bluetooth (Serial) has been added to Palm OS. It emulates
the behavior of a standard serial port when connecting to other Bluetooth devices.

Exchange Library

The Palm Bluetooth stack provides integration with the Palm OS 4.0 Exchange
Manager for sending data over Bluetooth using a “Send” menu item in applications.


Applications range from those provided in the core Palm OS, to those provided by
Licensees and 3 rd party developers. Applications can be written using (a) the
Bluetooth API (Bluetooth-aware apps), (b) the Bluetooth Virtual Serial driver
(“serial” applications), or (c) the Exchange Manager / Bluetooth Exchange Library
(for easiest data exchange mechanism).

Supported profiles

The Palm Bluetooth Stack supports the Bluetooth profiles that make sense for pure
data-oriented operations.

Profile: Explanation

Generic Access: The main purpose of the General Access Profile (GAP) is to
describe the use of the lower layers of the Bluetooth protocol
stack (LC and LMP) and to describe security-related
alternatives, and higher layers (L2CAP, RFCOMM and

Service Discovery: The Service Discovery Profile (SDP) defines the protocols and
procedures used by a service discovery application on a device
to locate services in other Bluetooth-enabled devices using the
Bluetooth Service Discovery Protocol.

Serial Port: The Serial Port Profile (SPP) defines the protocols and
procedures used by devices using Bluetooth for RS-232 (or
similar) serial cable emulation. The scenario covered by this
profile deals with legacy applications using Bluetooth as a
cable replacement through a virtual serial port abstraction.

Dialup Networking: The Dialup Networking (DUN) profile defines the protocols
and procedures used by devices implementing the usage model
called “Internet Bridge”. The most common examples of such
devices are modems and cellular phones.

LAN Access Point: The LAN Access Point profile (LAP or AP) defines LAN
access using PPP over RFCOMM.

Generic Object Exchange Profile: The Generic Object Exchange Profile (GOEP) defines the
protocols and procedures used by applications that provide
object exchange capabilities. The usage model can be, for
example, Synchronization, File Transfer, or Object Push model.

Object Push: The object push profile defines the requirements for the
protocols and procedures that shall be used by the applications
providing the object push usage model. This profile makes use
of the generic object exchange profile to define the
interoperability requirements for the protocols needed by
applications. The most common devices using these usage
models can be notebook PCs, PDAs, and mobile phones.

Required hardware

The basic system requirements for the Palm Bluetooth Stack are:

- Palm OS 4.x
- 256 KB heap
- Bluetooth Radio Unit

Hardware Compatibility

Hardware compatibility requirements for the Bluetooth Radio Unit as follows:

· The unit must conform to the HCI transport layer of Bluetooth as specified by
version 1.1 of the Bluetooth specification.

· Support for Master/Slave switch.

· Support for sniff, hold and park power savings modes, allowing other masters
to place us into any of these modes.

· Piconets: When new connections are added to an existing piconet, the upper
stack shall not have to get involved in the management of existing
connections, by either putting them in park or hold, as the Bluetooth SIG
specification recommends. The chipset Link Manager shall transparently
handle this.

· Power management. The HCI transports as defined do not handle the concept
of either side of the link going into a power managed state. The chipset
manufacture must provide a specification for out of band hardware signaling
(interrupt) to handle this.

· Conform to the line signaling requirements for the particular interface utilized
by the Bluetooth Radio Unit (serial, Universal Connector, SDIO).

For more information

Bluetooth Web Site:

Join the Palm Alliance Program:

The Palm Alliance Program is designed for developers like you who are committed to
using their development and marketing expertise to make every Palm Powered™
handheld more effective, more valuable, and more fun. Join the Palm Alliance
Program, and get the tools and resources you need to develop highly marketable
Bluetooth enabled solutions for the leading handheld platform.

To join, visit our Web site at:

Bluetooth stack for Palm OS Palm, Inc.
(Bluetooth stack add-on for Palm OS 4.0)

List date : 2001-09-24
Spec version : 1.1
PRD version : 0.9
Product ID : Bluetooth stack
Software Version : 1.0
Hardware Version : N/A
Qualified Product Notice : QPN_043-CTCMrev1.pdf
Reference design application : Palm_OS_Bluetooth_Stack.pdf

Capability Profile :
- Object Push
- Dial-up Networking
- LAN Access
- Generic Access
- Service Discovery
- Serial port
- Generic Object Exchange

Interop Devices : - -

Product Type : Comp-SW-Integrated
Qualified Date : 2001-09-24
Product Contact Person : Jeff Frank
Email :
Phone : (425) 564-7070
Company URL :

BQB : Eriksson, Lars


"Yes, we use the Bluetooth Embedded Protocol Software of Extended Systems Inc."

Petra Jung
Developer Alliances, Palm Europe Ltd.

"With Extended Systems' technology, Palm is better positioned to address the enterprise solutions market by offering a mobile infrastructure platform that maximizes the benefits of mobile device deployment and minimizes the headaches,' said Extended Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Simpson.

``The mutual attraction Palm and Extended Systems felt in our merger plans remains as strong as ever,' said Carl Yankowski, Palm chief executive officer. ``We're going to do everything we planned together -- but as independent partners."


Palm Inc.


In the future, handhelds will become ubiquitous tools that everyone will use to manage information, conduct transactions, and communicate with each another. As we continue to add support for new technologies, we will preserve the simplicity, expandability, mobility, and wearability that have made Palm Powered™ products the standard today.

Here's a glimpse of what the future holds for The Palm Economy:

Wireless connections and services:
· Clip-on wireless modems supporting most of the world's major cellular standards
· New handhelds with "always-on" e-mail connections
· Support for Bluetooth in EVERY NEW Palm-branded handheld.

Secure transactions:
· Secure transaction processing to enable electronic wallets and identification cards
· Top-level security for corporate transactions.

Graphics and multimedia:
· Support for larger and higher-resolution screens
· Enhanced video and audio playback
· Support for faster, more powerful ARM microprocessors, while maintaining compatibility with current Palm software applications.

Palm and BLUETOOTH WIRELESS (Pico, Red-M, Toshiba, Extended Systems, Axis, TDK/Tactel, Motorola)

Palm in deals with major handheld chipmakers
By Franklin Paul

NEW YORK, July 24 (Reuters) - Palm Inc. (NasdaqNM:PALM - news) on Tuesday unveiled deals with the world's top chipmakers for handhelds that would essentially bake Palm software into the basic design of their circuits, simplifying the development of nifty new applications.

Palm said that under its Palm OS Ready program, development licenses granted to Intel Corp. (NasdaqNM:INTC - news), Motorola Corp. (NYSE:MOT - news) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE:TXN - news) would also help developers of wireless and multimedia devices to market more quickly.

``Since Pocket PC came out, Palm has been beaten up pretty bad for its performance, whether justified or not,' he said. ``What this does is basically take all the complaints about Palm performance and throws them out of the window.'

This means the devices will be able to handle more complex applications, such as video streaming and digital-audio playback, and to match the processing power of handhelds based on Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system.

Palm debuted its own Bluetooth Card for the m500 and m505, developed jointly with Toshiba, which will sit in a SD/MultiMedia slot and is due for release in September. Simultaneously, Palm is making available both its developer platform and a complete network stack through Extended Systems. The developer platform will allow Palm developers to test and build applications. Program details are now available on the Palm developer site.

Palm fights to keep lead in enterprise PDAs
15:44 Wednesday 27th June 2001
Eugene Lacey


"Is it really that, or is it just a certain kind of person buying the latest cool device? We have 150,000 developers around the world working on Palm applications," he said, stressing the importance of the partnership with Extended Systems -- a company that Palm had hoped to acquire earlier in the year. Extended will develop and market products that provides companies with mobile access to existing enterprise software, such as customer resource management or enterprise resource planning tools.,,s2090153,00.html

-Palm is going to resell Extended Systems' XTNDConnect Server Software as a Palm(TM) branded product by the fourth quarter of this calendar year.

XTNDConnect Server makes mobile device deployment and behind-the-firewall access to real-time business information simple and secure. Any corporate information that resides on Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and ODBC-compliant database servers will be accessible from Palm and Palm Powered(TM) handhelds, as well as Windows CE/Pocket PC and EPOC (Psion) mobile devices. The cross-platform support that XTNDConnect Server provides is particularly noteworthy, because the product provides IT managers with a single solution for managing multiple mobile devices.

-Bluetooth Software of XTND into Palm Inc. Handhelds

Extended Systems promises to bring Bluetooth to market more quickly

"XTNDAccess Blue SDK is significant because it is based on the recently-issued 1.1 specification of the Bluetooth platform, which is said to solve problems with compatibility and other issues with the first specification.

SDKs such as Extended Systems' are crucial because they make it easier for developers to create the software that powers devices."

Mobile Productivity Is at Hand

More and more road warriors are ditching their laptops for highly portable PDAs. These solutions can help keep traveling staffers connected in a mobile world.

By Richard Santalesa, Computer Shopper
August 9, 2001


Palm also plans to build its own wireless-service bureau that acts as a secure corporate data-redirect site. Using technology from Extended Systems, Palm plans to supply wireless connectivity for the most popular e-mail solutions, including Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes. Palm will also resell the company's XTNDConnect Server software as a Palm-branded product by the end of the year.

Extended Systems (Web site): Extended Systems was one of the first to do wireless syncing. Companies running any handheld OS--be it Palm, Windows CE, Pocket PC, or Symbian--can call on the company's solutions. Its software provides mobile access on three fronts: remote syncing through its XTNDConnect Server; real-time wireless e-mail access (Exchange, ODBC sources, Lotus Domino, IMAP4/POP3) via XTND Connect View; and Remote Procedure Middleware (RPM) linkage through its XTNDConnect RPM software, which connects mobile devices to corporate servers.

Nothing Can Stop Next-Generation Wireless
[Network World]

The market for wireless data products and services is starting to boom. You would hardly know it, though. After nearly a decade of disappointment, wireless data finally found its wings only to have them clipped by an economic slowdown. Wireless data growth is also obscured by regional differences.

Global wireless data markets are a study in contrasts. In Japan, roughly 30 million consumers access the Internet from their mobile phones. In Europe, two-way messaging is the rage among young people. And in the U.S., enterprise use of wireless LANs and mobile data is on the rise.

Indoor and outdoor wireless data applications are gaining traction. If the two ever converge, and there are indications they will, things could get really interesting.

Wireless LANs are spreading rapidly in offices, schools and homes as the cost of hardware drops. The IEEE 802.11b standard, also known as Wi-Fi, has matured, and PC card adapters are available for as little as $150 each. Expect new wireless LANs running 54M bit/sec next year based on technology that could evolve to 200M bit/sec.

The picture for mobile data is also much brighter. Cingular Interactive's two-way wireless messaging service has experienced a tenfold increase in subscribers over the past few years - from 60,000 to more than 600,000. And Sprint PCS is believed to have more than 1.5 million Wireless Web users.

Mobile phone operators are investing heavily in 2.5G and 3G wireless technologies with robust data capabilities. Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless plan to introduce mobile data services running up to 150K bit/sec soon, with nationwide availability likely by the middle of next year and an upgrade to 300K bit/sec just around the corner.

Serving indoor hot spots such as airports will be a major challenge for next-generation wireless services. Because mobile phone networks mainly use outdoor base stations, their signals don't always penetrate buildings. The ideal solution may be a combination of indoor wireless LANs and outdoor 3G technologies.

A new species of wireless LAN has emerged: the public wireless LAN (PWLAN). PWLANs are springing up in airports, convention centers, hotels and on campuses. Most PWLANs are based on Wi-Fi, but Bluetooth and IEEE 802.11a could also play significant roles. Bluetooth is an inexpensive technology that can be integrated with everything from wristwatches to pay phones. In addition to higher throughputs, the IEEE 802.11a standard could help bring the cost of delivering a megabyte of data to a few tenths of a penny.

Armed with hybrid networks, mobile phone operators will be able to provide services that seemed impossible just five years ago.

It pays to remember that the world's biggest economy was built by optimists. The economy may slow the advance of next-generation wireless services, but nothing can stop them.

WPAN & WLAN Will Co-Exist

Setting The Record Straight On Bluetooth

Posted on Sunday, September 16 @ 11:23:07 EDT by jrappold
Bluetooth Wireless Technology

As regular readers of this site already know, I'm a proponent of Bluetooth technology. I believe that for PDAs, Bluetooth will be very important, and widely used in those devices. Recent reports in the press of the death of Bluetooth have all centered around competition between it and Wi-Fi (formerly known as 802.11b), and these articles show that the press really hasn't done their homework. Bluetooth is a different, though complimentary technology to Wi-Fi.

From what I've seen on other sites and from reader comments, most people think that Bluetooth is a wireless LAN technology that competes with Wi-Fi. In this article I'll try to explain how wrong this perception is, and give an overview of what Bluetooth is, and what it isn't.


Why I Need Bluetooth

No Decay in Bluetooth Despite Gloomy Press, Writes Editor Andrew Seybold in Forbes/Andrew Seybold'sWireless Outlook

Technology industry journalists and vendor prognosticators predicting that Wi-Fi technology might jam Bluetooth's chance to emerge as a significant wireless connectivity technology, ``... don't understand the differences between Bluetooth and 802.11 (Wi-Fi),' wrote Editor Andrew M. Seybold in the current issue of Forbes/Andrew Seybold's Wireless Outlook.


EBN via NewsEdge Corporation : Forget about competition from 802.11 or other wireless protocols. Handset production hiccups are really what's holding up Bluetooth's growth.

Even as it languishes for want of a cell phone infrastructure to support it, Bluetooth is unlikely to be rendered obsolete by either the HomeRF or 802.11 standards that are now gaining market attention.

"People who say there's competition between 802.11 and Bluetooth either don't understand that they serve two different markets, or simply want notoriety based on sensationalism," Quinn said.

Indeed, suppliers and OEMs noted that Bluetooth will handle "cheap, quick, and dirty" data downloads that will generally cost about four times less than 802.11 applications. Proponents, for example, said a headset design for a cell phone handset or car phone is better served by a Bluetooth chipset than a package that crams together an 802.11 baseband, a MAC controller, and an RF system.

The lack of a rivalry between the two protocols was emphasized by 802.11 suppliers as well, despite reports that the two standards are slated to compete head to head. "They're complementary and will represent a merger of applications," said Chris Henningsen, vice president of worldwide marketing at Intersil Corp., Irvine, Calif., the leading 802.11 IC supplier. "802.11 will serve a networking function, and Bluetooth will largely replace less-complex functions such as IR beaming."


Phil Belanger, past president and current marketing director for WECA ( = 802.11) on Bluetooth and 802.11

Will Wi-Fi (802.11b) deal a serious blow to the success of Bluetooth? Most experts answer with a conditional "no." Phil Belanger, past president and current marketing director for WECA (, believes that Wi-Fi will not make Bluetooth obsolete. "Bluetooth is a cable replacement, not a real network like Wi-Fi," notes Phil Belanger.

Jim Lansford, VP of Business Development for Mobilian Corp. ( and Chair of the IEEE 802 Coexistence Study Group, agrees with this assessment. He explains, "Bluetooth was designed from a very different perspective; replacing a point-to-point cable. If I wanted to connect a camera to a single computer, Ethernet [Wi-Fi] would not generally be the preferred method. Likewise, if I wanted to connect a dozen computers together for printer and files sharing, I probably wouldn't use a mass of serial cables [Bluetooth]."


Still, with all of the challenges facing Bluetooth, it's future looks bright. Most everyone agrees that Bluetooth fills an important need: a wireless replacement for point-to-point, predominately serial, connections. A recent report from Frost and Sullivan forecasts that 4.2 million Bluetooth devices will ship this year with a revenue of $1.8 million. These numbers are expected to skyrocket in the coming years.

So, in answer to my first question; Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can happily coexist. Oops, poor choice of words. I mean, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are complementary technologies, each addressing different market needs; Bluetooth for wireless point-to-point connections (piconets not withstanding) and Wi-Fi for wireless network connections. But coexistence is another matter, since both occupy the same 2.4-GHz bandwidth. But thanks to companies like Mobilian, that issue also has a happy ending, as I've already discussed in earlier editorials.


802.11-Bluetooth Coexistence

Bluetooth Chips (ARM, Intel, Motorola etc.)

Bluetooth and 802.11: A Tale of Two Technologies

Wireless networking is on track, literally. The two hottest technologies – Bluetooth for products and 802.11b for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) – currently share the same "space": the unregulated 2.4 GHz radio band, the frequency most well known as the pathway for our microwave ovens.

As these technologies emerge as common-day solutions, concern has increased over the potential for frequency interference. It could be that Bluetooth activity will do the jamming. Bluetooth "hops" faster through the spectrum than 802.11. That rapid-fire barrage – which gives Bluetooth its device-driving bite – could, however, affect the performance of an 802.11 network.

The rub, of course, is that each is important for the future of wireless connectivity: Bluetooth is well-suited for devices; 802.11 is, in turn, designed specifically for driving WLANs.

Even more to the point, while Bluetooth is designed to enhance mobility and for home-use connectivity, it will also be a major resource for connecting devices within the office – the environment where WLANs are resident. Hence, the real concerns about performance jams.

Solutions, rather than a "winner," is the key strategy for both camps.

One move in the concilliatory direction: the establishment of the IEEE Task Group

The A's and B's of 802.11

Another solution deals with 802.11 itself. Currently, the working model for 802.11 is 802.11b. 802.11b has been well-received as a fast and reliable wireless solution for business and enterprise WLANs. It has also been embraced by hotels and airports catering to the mobile professional. As a result, analysts expect a surge in notebooks geared for 802.11b access.

Next-generation 802.11b is 802.11a – which is faster, and most important for Bluetooth developers, operates in the relatively vacant and nonBluetooth 5 GHz bands. As one networking expert commented, the emergence of 802.11a will "encourage a happy coexistence" between the two.

A Marriage of Equals

A third solution for bridging the differences is to combine both technologies to work as a whole. That's something developers like Silicon Wave, a developer of single-chip Bluetooth radios, and Intersil, which develops silicon technology for I802.11b, are working on. In this case, it's a team effort.

Their idea: to develop dual-mode WLAN solutions that will combine Bluetooth and 802.11b radios on the same platform. Step two: expanding that unification to the switching scenario so that both use a common antenna.

For more information on 802.11, visit WECA, the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance. WECA, whose members include most of the high-end vendors, was formed to "guarantee interoperability" across all 802.11b products.

For more information on Bluetooth, visit the official resource, Bluetooth SIG

Bluetooth vs/and 802.11b

- 802.11 is a wireless local network and suitable as an office LAN.

-Bluetooth isn't designed to compete with wireless local area networks. Even its close-range throughput of 1 Mbps doesn't compare with the 11 Mbps that the emerging standard for wireless LAN, IEEE 802.11, offers.

Instead, Bluetooth's promoters are positioning it as the technology for the Personal Area Network (PAN), and are targeting appliances that don't require large flows -- like printers, handhelds , personal computers, and mobile phones

- WiFi--and Bluetooth are actually very different technologies with very different reasons to exist.

- Bluetooth is a low cost, low power, robust wireless connection method with a small footprint that makes it very well suited for millions of handheld devices. Chips will be cheap (see below), and Bluetooth does not need a base radio station because every device can create a local network.

- Another advantage of Bluetooth as a cable replacement technology are the applications (e.g ). Retail kiosks, pay phones, and other public access points will support proximity services.

- The price of a Bluetooth chipset, excluding application interface software, is expected to drop from $20 to $5 by 2003 together with a large chip-volume. Recently revised volume forecasts of end-user devices shipped with Bluetooth functionality are in fact only 20-30 million units this year.

- A Bluetooth chip, designed to communicate in the 10m range, consumes only 1mW of power, compared to an 802.11b chip, which consumes more than 1W. A single Bluetooth chipset is also fairly small, with a size of 8x8mm, compared to the smallest 802.11b at 30x14mm.

- Bluetooth and WLAN use the same frequency, 2.4GHz. However, given Bluetooth is designed to be a very robust technology that changes frequency at the speed of 1600 hops/second, it has an advantage over WLAN technologies like 802.11b.

- Bluetooth is expected to have a very large reach this year with installation in more than 120 million end user devices, compared to only 4.3 million WLAN products.

- Bluetooth gives a maximum speed of 721kbps (=1Mbps) for data, compared to 11Mbps for 802.11b.

- 802.11b has a lead being earlier on the market (there are around 110 wifi products and 330 bluetooth products)

- Bluetooth also holds an advantage concerning voice communication. Here, Bluetooth can be used in a cordless phone within a 10m range, in an office environment or home, without the need for handoffs. Other WLAN technologies need voice-over-IP to support voice communication, which is not likely to happen soon.

- There are some security issues regarding 802.11b (see Flaw in Popular Wireless Standard Bluetooth could have an edge because security is mostly solved, and there is one worldwide standard.

There have been a lot of discussions about Bluetooth versus 802.11b. I believe that this debate have had the wrong focus. The question is not Bluetooth or 802.11 but more Bluetooth and 802.11. I strongly believe that the two technologies will be used in combination with each other. They do have different focus but can be used for different purposes within the same site.


Bluetooth Products: (changes daily, there are 363 Qualified Bluetooth Products at 9-28-2001)

Bluetooth Info Site (News, Technology etc.):



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