What impact does the deprecation and withdrawal of Bluetooth Core specification v4.0 and v4.1 have on your current and future products?

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) recently announced the deprecation and withdrawal of Bluetooth Core specifications v4.0 and v4.1. For products that are already qualified, there is no impact. For products that have not been qualified yet, keep reading.

Let us first look at the meaning of the terms “deprecate” and “withdraw”. A specification will first be deprecated, then there is a transitional period, before it is withdrawn. When a specification is deprecated, it is not maintained. This means that erratas for the specification and test specification will not be processed. However, you can still qualify products with a specification that is deprecated. When a specification is withdrawn, it is still not maintained, and it is not possible to qualify products with it.

Now let us look at which SoftDevices that are affected by this. All SoftDevices for the nRF52 Series (S112, S132, S140, S332) are Bluetooth v5.0 qualified, these are unaffected. For the nRF51 Series, SoftDevices S110, S120 and S310 are Bluetooth v4.1 qualified, while SoftDevice S130 is Bluetooth v4.2 qualified. This means that S110, S120 and S310 are affected, while S130 is unaffected. Below you can find a table of the specific QDIDs of SoftDevices S110, S120 and S310 that are affected:

QDID

SoftDevice version

Deprecation

Withdrawal

44505, 49155

S110 v5.x.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

51744, 51745

S110 v6.x.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

58616, 58540

S110 v7.0.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

62791, 62792, 63874, 63880

S110 v7.1.0, v7.3.x, v8.0.0

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

56426, 56425

S120 v1.x.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

66453, 66455, 66456, 66457

S120 v2.x.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

51744, 51745

S310 v1.0.0

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

62791, 62792, 63874, 63800

S310 v2.0.x, v3.0.x

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

If you are developing or are planning to develop a product with SoftDevice S110, S120 or S310 you have three options: qualify your product before 01.07.2020, switch to SoftDevice S130, or switch to the nRF52 Series.

nRF8001 and nRF8002 are also affected by this. Below you can find a table of the specific QDIDs:

QDID

Device

Deprecation

Withdrawal

28701, 39051

nRF8001

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

38374

nRF8002

28.01.2019

01.07.2020

If you are developing or are planning to develop a product with nRF8001 or nRF8002 you have three options: qualify your product before 01.07.2020, switch to the nRF51 Series (SoftDevice S130) or switch to the nRF52 Series.

In general, we recommend using the latest hardware and software, but we understand that it isn’t always black and white. Hopefully the information here allows you to plan ahead, and avoid ending up with a product that can’t be qualified.

If you have any questions, please post a question in the Q&A section and link to this blog.

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