Espressif ESP-BLE-MESH Supports Bluetooth ® Mesh Protocol 1.1

by | Oct 12, 2023

Espressif Bluetooth mesh protocol 1.1

Espressif Systems announces that its self-developed Bluetooth Mesh protocol stack, ESP-BLE-MESH, now fully supports the latest Bluetooth® Mesh Protocol 1.1. They are one of the first companies to offer support for this update, prior to its formal release by Bluetooth SIG.

Espressif has the technical prowess and innovation capabilities to provide advanced and reliable support for Bluetooth Mesh-based IoT applications.

This means that the company has the technical prowess and innovation capabilities to provide advanced and reliable support for Bluetooth Mesh-based IoT applications.

ESP-BLE-MESH is Espressif’s proprietary protocol stack built upon Bluetooth Mesh. Any IoT devices based on it can communicate and collaborate with different types of standard Bluetooth Mesh devices from different manufacturers.

Espressif has been actively involved in promoting the development and implementation of SIG protocols, and has received recognition from the Bluetooth SIG for significantly contributing to the Mesh Profile Enhancement with CBP, ENH, EPA, PRB, and SBR improvements.

Bluetooth SIG

The Bluetooth Mesh Protocol represents a significant milestone in Bluetooth technology, introducing numerous innovative features aimed at standardizing device configuration and network management. Its primary goal is to enhance the stability, security, and scalability of Bluetooth Mesh networks.

Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 introduces several notable features, including:

1. Directed Forwarding

Bluetooth Mesh 1.0 utilizes a “Managed Flooding” approach to publishing and relaying information, involving all relay nodes within the transmission range. This design is straightforward and reliable, as the failure of any node within the network does not impact the overall network. However, the drawback is that the participation of all devices in relaying can result in increased network load.

Not only does Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 maintain support for “Managed Flooding”, but it also introduces a new routing mechanism called “Directed Forwarding”. In this mechanism, nodes can deliver messages to the target node through one or multiple predefined paths. These paths can be dynamically created or specified by users through DF Configuration Models. This innovation greatly reduces the need for relay nodes, effectively alleviating the network congestion problem of all nodes participating in forward-ing when sending longer data packets in a dense Bluetooth Mesh network.

It is worth mentioning that Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 supports dynamic switching between “Managed Flooding” and “Directed Forwarding”. For example, in the “Directed For-warding” mechanism, if the current node only maintains one forwarding path to the target node and the corresponding relay node on that path fails, the network will need some time before it can detect the node failure and establish a new routing path. In this case, the network can seamlessly switch to the “Managed Flooding” mechanism to send message data promptly.

2. Remote Provisioning

In the Bluetooth Mesh 1.0 network, provisioners can only provision unprovisioned devices within their RF communication range. Users need to move the provisioner closer to each unprovisioned device to complete the entire network’s provisioning process.

Bluetooth Mesh Protocol 1.1 introduces the Remote Provisioning mechanism, where all relay nodes within the network can forward provisioning data to unprovisioned devices through a Remote Provisioning Server. This means that devices beyond the direct radio range can join the network without requiring the provisioning device to be physically moved. As a result, the network’s configuration costs are notably decreased, making it easier for the network to be expanded.

3. Subnet Bridge

With the introduction of the Subnet Bridge in Bluetooth Mesh Protocol 1.1, nodes from different subnets in the network can directly communicate with each other through bridge nodes. This innovative feature provides technical support for building larger-scale and more complex mesh networks, further expanding the application scenarios of Bluetooth Mesh.

4. Enhanced Provisioning Security

Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 enhances the security of provisioning by introducing the Certifi-cate-Based Provisioning (CBP) and Enhanced Provisioning Authentication (EPA) functions. CBP verifies the public key and UUID in the device certificate, through the X.509 certificate’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). The X.509 device certificates can be provided by device manufacturers or suppliers and be used during the provisioning process, to improve out-of-band authentication security. EPA provides a more secure authentication mechanism against man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), enforcing man-datory verification for unprovisioned devices and ensuring provisioning security.

5. Enhanced Privacy

Bluetooth Mesh Protocol 1.1 protects beacon-transmitting devices from illegal tracking by introducing private beacons, thereby enhancing privacy protection within the net-work. This feature ensures the privacy and security of devices in the network by ob-scuring beacon data and improving beacon structure. The introduction of Bluetooth Mesh 1.1 has significantly the capabilities of IoT applications that leverage this tech-nology. Espressif’s ESP-BLE-MESH offers comprehensive support for Bluetooth Mesh Protocol 1.1, which provides the industry with a more robust and refined Blue-tooth solution. Our unwavering commitment to technological innovation drives us in leading the development of Bluetooth technology, based on our expertise in intercon-nected devices.

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