This blog was last updated 17.01.2019.
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 A specification will first be deprecated, then there is a transitional period, before it is withdrawn.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 When a specification is withdrawn, it is still not maintained, and it is not possible to qualify products with it.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 v4.0 or 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:
Bluetooth Core Specification
62791, 62792, 63874, 63880
S110 v7.1.0, v7.3.x, v8.0.0
66453, 66455, 66456, 66457
62791, 62792, 63874, 63800
S310 v2.0.x, v3.0.x
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 01.02.2022/23, 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:
If you are developing or are planning to develop a product with nRF8001 or nRF8002 you have three options: qualify your product before 01.02.2022, 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.
Sorry for the late reply.This stuff is confusing, but I'm pretty sure I'm correct. If you look at 1b in the "Policy Clarification Chart" you see that you are allowed to create a qualification/declaration for a product that references an existing "deprecated" Bluetooth design, that existing Bluetooth design would be our SoftDevice.
I believe you are incorrect: if a specification is deprecated, you CANNOT submit a design for qualification on or after January 28, 2019. Please refer to the information on the following page: https://launchstudio.bluetooth.com/myprojects/deprecation-withdrawal-policy
Thanks Peter. This means I have to use S130 because I'm using nRF51822 in my project.
Thanks Peter, very useful.
Pretty neat Petter,You have explained the impact on exact components and the alternatives for it clearly.