All Categories

Understanding a Bluetooth Beacon Chip

  • Akansha Sharma
  • Feb 26, 2024
  • RFID
Understanding a Bluetooth Beacon Chip

"BLE beacons chips are the brain behind BLE based proximity advertisement, navigation, range, BLE connectivity and efficient and secure data sharing between beacons and end users."

The Bluetooth beacon technology is quite popular as a low energy alternative to traditional Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technologies, suitable for short range wireless communication. Bluetooth beacons can be seen at airports, malls, retail shopping stores and events, broadcasting relevant information on users’ smartphones. These small BLE beacon devices consist of a beacon module and a chip that ensure communication and data sharing between smartphones and the beacon devices.

Let’s see in detail what a Bluetooth beacon chip is and how it ensures signal capture, positioning, and transmission periodically.

What is BLE Beacon Chip?

A group of circuits that combine Bluetooth features for short-range wireless communication is known as a Bluetooth beacon chip. Device networking, location services, audio transmission, and data transmission are the primary application scenarios for Bluetooth chips. Bluetooth chips fall into classic Bluetooth chips and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) chips according to the Bluetooth transmission standard.

1. The SBC encoding format, which is frequently used to transfer audio, files, and other scenarios, is utilized by the original Bluetooth chip and consumes a lot of power.
2. The BLE chip uses the LC3 encoding format, which has the benefits of low power consumption and low latency and is frequently utilized in scenarios including device matching, data synchronization, and positioning.

BLE beacon chips are capable of transmitting BLE signals up to 80 meters. The majority of BLE beacons have a battery life of 18 to 24 months, while those with an energy-saving feature can last up to 5 years. 

The Market size and Adoption of Bluetooth chips and Solutions

According to a study by Business Research Insights, the size of the global market for Bluetooth chips was estimated at USD 3.0775 billion in 2021. Throughout the forecast period, the market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 14.15%, reaching USD 11.33 billion in 2031.

Unlike RFID chip manufacturers, there are limited BLE chip producing companies globally and the customization and specification in Bluetooth beacon chips is limited.

With the increasing adoption of smartphones, wearables, smart home devices, and IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets, the demand for Bluetooth-enabled chips continues to soar. According to industry reports, the global market for Bluetooth chip solutions is projected to reach multi-billion dollars in the coming years, reflecting the growing need for seamless wireless communication and connectivity. Major players in the semiconductor industry, such as Qualcomm, Broadcom, Nordic Semiconductor, and Texas Instruments, are actively developing advanced Bluetooth chip solutions to meet the evolving demands of the market.

What are the latest trends in the BLE beacon chip industry?

These tiny chips, powered by Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, are revolutionizing how businesses interact with customers and manage assets. Major companies in this industry, such as Estimote and, are leading the way with innovative projects aimed at enhancing beacon technology. For example, Estimote is focusing on improving indoor positioning and contact tracing solutions, while is working on advancements in beacon hardware for better accuracy in tracking. Additionally, companies like Bluvision (now part of HID Global) and Gimbal (part of Qliktag Software Inc.) are integrating beacon technology with cloud-based platforms and artificial intelligence for more personalized customer experiences and enhanced analytics. 

The definition and classification of Bluetooth modules

A collection of fundamental circuit chips that integrate Bluetooth operations make up the Bluetooth module. The Bluetooth modules enable wireless linkage and communication between stationary or mobile information devices by connecting to the same personal area network via a wireless connection.

According to the Bluetooth transmission standard, Bluetooth chips are divided into two categories: classic Bluetooth chips and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) chips.

1. Classic Bluetooth module: A classic Bluetooth module can transfer a sizable quantity of data, including voice, music, video, and other types of media, and is commonly defined as one that supports Bluetooth 4.0 protocol and lower.

2. Low-power Bluetooth module: Low-power Bluetooth modules are those that are inexpensive, low-power, and support Bluetooth 4.0 or higher protocols. Heart rate belts, temperature sensors, blood pressure monitors, and other sensing devices are examples of goods that use Bluetooth low-energy modules because of their high real-time requirements and low data transfer speeds.

Technical transmission principles of Bluetooth beacon chips 

As a short-range wireless communication technology, Bluetooth chip technology efficiently streamlines both inter-mobile communication terminal devices and Internet communication. So, the path of wireless communication has expanded, and data transfer between these modern communications devices and the Internet has gotten faster and more efficient.

1. Master-slave relationship: In order for two devices to communicate via Bluetooth, one of them must have a primary function and the other a secondary duty, according to Bluetooth chip technology. The primary end of the communication needs to look for the data. Both parties can transmit and receive data after the pair is started and the link is effectively established.

2. Call-matching: After making the first call, the primary Bluetooth device looks for other Bluetooth devices in the area. Once the secondary device has been located, you can begin pairing and connecting. Be aware that when a device is paired, it doesn't need to be paired again before making a call. When the Bluetooth link is in the communication stage, both master and slave devices can start the disconnection process.

3. Data transfer: One-to-one serial data communication is arguably one of the most popular uses for Bluetooth chip data transmission. Before the devices leave the factory, the pairing details between two Bluetooth devices are pre-programmed. The PIN code, address, and other details of the secondary end device are pre-stored by the primary end.

How to select the best Bluetooth chipset for your business

Some Bluetooth beacons which are equipped with Bluetooth chips like,  CC2540, CC2541, CC2540T and CC2541-Q1 are all wireless system-on-chip (SoC) solutions developed by Texas Instruments for Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) applications. Despite their many similarities, these chips differ significantly in terms of pricing, peripherals, and power consumption. Let's have a discussion on them: 








Bluetooth 5.0 

Bluetooth 5.0 

Bluetooth 5.0 

Bluetooth 5.0 

















Data rates






-93 dBm

-93 dBm

-94 dBm

-94 dBm


1 comparator, 12-bit ADC 8-channel, 2 SPI, 2 UART, 4 timers, USB

12-bit ADC 8-channel, 2 SPI, 2 UART, 4 timers, USB

12-bit ADC 8-channel, 2 SPI, 2 UART, 4 timers, I2C

12-bit ADC 8-channel, 2 SPI, 2 UART, 4 timers, I2C

Price ($)





For battery-powered devices, CC2541 is preferable option because it consumes less power at the same transmit and receive power as CC2540. Higher power use, however, indicates a relatively powerful signal. The primary distinction between the two peripherals is that, whilst CC2540 has a USB interface and no IIC, CC2541 has both. Price-wise, CC2541 is less expensive than CC2540, although CC2541-Q1 is marginally more costly than CC2540T. Furthermore, CC2541 features a unique proprietary mode, although CC2540 does not.

In summary, Bluetooth beacon chips operate by continuously broadcasting signals that can be detected by nearby devices. These chips utilize Bluetooth Low Energy technology to ensure low power consumption and seamless communication. It accurately determines the user's proximity to a location. Beacon chips enable businesses to deliver personalized and contextually relevant messages to their customers.

Frequently Asked Questions on Bluetooth Beacon Chip

Q1) What are the applications of Bluetooth beacon chips?

Bluetooth beacon chips have various applications, including proximity marketing, indoor navigation, asset tracking, contact tracing, and location-based services in retail, healthcare, hospitality, transportation, and other industries.

Q2) What is the difference between a Bluetooth beacon and other location-tracking technologies?

Unlike GPS, which requires a clear line of sight to satellites and is primarily used for outdoor navigation, Bluetooth beacons operate indoors and provide proximity-based location information.

Q3) Are Bluetooth beacon chips secure?

Bluetooth beacon chips transmit only a unique identifier and do not store personal data. However, it's essential to implement encryption and security measures to prevent unauthorized access or tampering with beacon signals.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

  • Created on Feb 26, 2024

Get Free RFID System Consultation.

Scan the QR code
Click to chat here