Specification Development Process

The magic of Bluetooth technology is in the specification.

Ever wonder about how the technology comes together? The specification development process starts with a simple idea and goes from there.

New Work Proposal

Anyone can submit an idea for a new profile or specification simply by submitting a New Work Proposal (NWP)—see the NWPs in currently in progress. Once it gains support it is submitted for review and then approval by the Board of Directors (BoD). After the board approves an NWP, it assigns it a study, working or subgroup to begin the Functional Requirements Document (FRD) phase.

Functional Requirements Document

Anyone can contribute to the FRD through the study groups, working groups and subgroups. Once the functional requirements, problem statement and scope of work are defined, the Bluetooth Architectural Review Board (BARB) will review it and the working group charter to determine if a core FRD is required. Once the FRD and charter are approved by the BARB, the FRD is published to all members for the hard work to begin.

The next three stages include iterations of the specification or enhancement.

  • .5/Draft Improvement Proposal Document (DIPD)—design work starts, behaviors and coverage of requirements in the FRD are defined. The BARB reviews and approves and then publishes it to Associates and Promoters
  • .7/Final Improvement Proposal Document (FIPD)—lock down of all mandatory/optional features per the functional requirements while following IEEE established language conventions. The BARB will approve while the Bluetooth Test & Interoperability Committee (BTI) reviews and approves
  • .9/Change Request—the specification is 100% complete and goes through the final plan and adoption schedule. Once the BARB and BTI review and approve, it goes to the board for adoption as a Prototyping Specification. It is published to all members and the 45-day IP and voting draft review period begins

Prototyping Specification

This stage begins the Specification Validation (IOP). The working groups develop test plans based on the test specification, backward compatibility, invalid behavior, etc. Once the BARB and BTI review the test plan, IOP testing by all members begins.

Formal IOP Testing

Formal IOP testing begins once the Prototyping Specification is adopted and the IOP test plan is approved. The SIG announces the IOP event and collects testing results. Testing success is achieved when three independent passes are achieved per test case in the approved IOP test plan for the core feature/GATT-based service and two independent passes achieved per test case in the approved IOP test plan for profiles.

Final Adoption

After formal IOP testing is complete, the working group corrects any issues found and generates a voting draft. The BARB approves the draft specification with the BTI and BQRB approving test specs and the test case releases list. During this IP review period, there is an opportunity for all members to review the specification for intellectual property (IP) that is about to be adopted and becomes part of the Bluetooth IP pool licensed by the membership agreement.

The specification is adopted by the board once all the items in the adoption checklist are complete and the IP review period is over. Adoption requires 4/5 approval by the adoption committee. The adoption committee is made up of the promoter members on the board of directors, the working group chair from the working group responsible for the specification. Once the specification is adopted, products can be qualified to it.

Most of the specification development work takes place in our online tool, Specification Workspace. This  process workflow tool makes it easy for working groups to move through the development process. Join a group today