Topology Options

Devices need multiple ways to connect.

To best meet the wireless connectivity needs of a diverse developer population, Bluetooth® technology supports multiple topology options.

From simple point-to-point connections for streaming audio between a smartphone and speaker, to broadcast connections that enable way-finding services in an airport, to mesh connections that support large-scale building automation, Bluetooth® supports multiple topology options to best meet the unique wireless connectivity needs of a diverse, global developer population.





Point-to-Point

Point-to-point is a network topology used for establishing one-to-one (1:1) device communications. The point-to-point topology available on Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) is optimized for audio streaming and is ideally suited for a wide range of wireless devices, such as speakers, headsets, and hands-free car kits. The point-to-point topology available on Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) is optimized for data transfer and is well suited for connected device products, such as fitness trackers, health monitors, and PC peripherals and accessories.





Broadcast

Broadcast is a network topology used for establishing one-to-many (1:m) device communications. The broadcast topology available on Bluetooth LE is optimized for localized information sharing and is ideal for beacon solutions, such as those that provide point of interest (POI) information, item finding, and way-finding services.





Mesh

Mesh is a network topology used for establishing many-to-many (m:m) device communications. The mesh topology available on Bluetooth LE enables the creation of large-scale device networks tailor-made for building automation, sensor network, asset tracking, and any solution where tens, hundreds, or thousands of devices need to reliably and securely communicate with one another.



  Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Bluetooth Basic Rate/
Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR)
Point-to-Point (1:1 device communication)
Optimized For... Short burst data transmission Continuous data streaming
Setup time <6 ms 100 ms
Max connections/ device (piconet) Unlimited (implementation specific) 7
Data rate 125 Kb/s to 2 Mb/s 1 Mb/s to 3 Mb/s​
Max payload size 251 byte​ 1,021 byte​
Security 128-bit AES, user defined application layer​ 64b/128b, user defined application layer​
Service definition GATT Profiles​ Traditional Profiles​
Broadcast (1:m device communication)
Max payload size Primary Channel: 31 byte​
Secondary Channel: 255 byte​
Chaining of packets for larger messages
Not Applicable
Security User defined application layer
Service definition Beacon Formats
(not specified by Bluetooth SIG)​
Mesh (m:m device communication)
Max nodes 32,767 Not Applicable
Max subnets 4,096
Message addressing Unicast, Multicast, Broadcast​
Up to 16,384 group addresses​
Supports publish/subscribe addressing​
Message forwarding Managed flood
Max payload size 29 byte payload
Security 128-bit AES​
Device, network and application levels​
Service definition Mesh Models, Mesh Properties

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