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New Bluetooth® Qualification Program Technical Changes

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A new Bluetooth® Qualification Program starts on July 1st, 2024. This new program introduces several technical changes and new options for specifying Designs used in Products.

Below are the key highlights that will be crucial for your Bluetooth product development and qualification processes:

1. Definition of "Product"

A Product includes only one Design, is sold as a single item, and is marketed under a name or trademark that uniquely identifies the Member who is the source of the product.

2. Design Number (DN)

Each unique Design will receive a Design Number (DN) the first time a Product using that Design completes the Bluetooth Qualification Process.

3. Complete Layer Criteria

For a Layer to be considered "Complete," it must include all mandatory features, all mandatory elements of any optional feature included, and any conditionally required features.

4. Now 3 Options for Specifying Designs

  • Option 1: Specify the Design used in a Product.
    • The Design must have a DN
    • No modifications may be made to the Design, including changes to the ICS form.
    • The Design may only implement Bluetooth Specifications that are active or deprecated at the time of Submission.
  • Option 2a: Specify the Design by including multiple existing Designs.
    • Existing Designs must not implement any Layers using withdrawn specifications.
  • Option 2b: Create a new Design by combining multiple existing Designs.
    • ICS Forms must be filled out for each new or modified Layer, using the active TCRL Package version.

5. Rebranding

Members rebranding another Member's Qualified Product without implementing new capabilities or making modifications should use a single existing Design.

6. Handling Deprecated and Withdrawn Specifications

Products using existing Designs implementing deprecated specifications can complete the Qualification Process without updates.

Products using Designs with withdrawn specifications must remove or update those specifications and assess them against an active TCRL Package version.

7. Inter-Layer Dependency (ILD) Checks

When combining Designs, the Inter-layer dependency (ILD) checks are required based on the latest TCRL Package version used among the included Designs.

8. Test Coverage and Administrative Fees

Test plans will include all required test cases for new and modified Layers.

An administrative fee is required for each product completing the Bluetooth Qualification Process, but subsetting existing Designs to create new ones does not require an additional fee.

Example Scenario:

Your company is a startup software company, launching its first smartwatch. They will:

  • Use Option 2b to create a new Design by combining their Bluetooth host implementation with an existing Qualified Design ID (QDID) from their supplier.
  • Use the active TCRL Package version for the host implementation.
  • For a lighter version of the same smartwatch, members may create a subset of the new Design to remove unsupported capabilities, requiring a new DN and administrative fee.

Be Prepared for the New Bluetooth Qualification Program

We hope this overview provides clarity on the upcoming changes and helps you prepare for the new Bluetooth Qualification Program. Should you have any questions or need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact Voler Systems Today

This article was first published here.

Authored by Michael Kirwan, a USA-based Bluetooth Qualification Consultant and Continua Certified Expert in Telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring, mkirwan@dsheet.com, 913-207-8226.

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