Some Interesting Findings in the List of BQB Certified Companies on the SIG Sep 15, 2021


Using Python to get the list of BQB certified companies in the SIG for nearly a year, and share some findings with you.


1. Bluetooth Certification


If the product with Bluetooth function labels the Bluetooth logo on the appearance and sell in the international market. The product must get through strict inspection and certification by the SIG to obtain BQB certification which needs to pay a patent fee.


BQB certification contains RF conformance test, protocol and profile conformance test, which will be explained one by one as below.


According to the complexity of the system, Bluetooth BQB certified products can be divided into three types: End Product, Subsystem and Component. The certification types of chip manufacturers' products mainly include Subsystem and Component.

Component

  • The smallest certification unit, which cannot be directly referenced by DID.
  • Be inherited by Subsystem and End Product
  • If necessary, the test items can be modified and tested again.
  • It can be divided into two types: Required Testing and No Required Testing.

Subsystem
  • A complete subsystem can be directly referenced by DID.
  • Subsystem can be tested directly, and it can inherit the certified Component, but can not be inherited by End Product.
  • If necessary, the test items can be modified and tested again.
  • It can be divided into Controller Subsystem, Host Subsystem, Profile Subsystem, etc.

End Product
  • It must be a complete system that can be directly referenced by DID.
  • End Product can be tested directly, and it must inherit both Host Component and Controller Component.
  • If necessary, the test items can be modified and tested again.

Generally, the original module needs to apply for QDID certification first to obtain the corresponding certificate which will reflect the product type, part number and QDID number. BQB Bluetooth certification refers to QDID. QDID is optional for end product. If the customers need to submit a new test plan (QDID), they can also combine the part of the test items that the original module has completed. Through it, they only need to test the added and modified test items.



For example, for the Bluetooth speaker, if the Bluetooth module has passed the BQB certification, the Bluetooth speaker product does not need to re-apply for certification. After obtaining the authorization of the module supplier, the product can be declared on the BQB website in the form of DID.

2. SIG Official Website Crawler


How to search? Log in to the SIG BQB Listing website to learn about BQB query methods. There are two ways to query the BQB certification information of the product. One is Advanced Search, which can search by company name, Bluetooth version, product type. It can also search for content related to the product after 2014. The disadvantage is that the specific fill-in conditions must be required, which is suitable for precise search and not for crawlers. The other is Blind Search, which can search for 5000 DID certification information, and then search for the product you need again under the result. The method can only get 5000 pieces of data, maybe the SIG does not want to show too much.


We will analyze based on the 5000 BQB certification information. If there is a better way to get more data, please leave a message.



Preparation

Designing Process



The SIG BQB Listing webpage uses a front-end and back-end framework. After a search, the front-end Web has received 5000 data contents, however, the Web has a sub-page display, there is no need to waste time on the front-end. When crawling the web, the data is obtained in the REQUEST background according to the Payload format. The 5000 pieces of data are cleaned and converted into the DataFrame recognized by Pandas according to the Jason format. After the DataFrame data is obtained, data processing and analysis can be started. The data contains 12 types of information as shown in the figure below. The data analysis in Chapter 3 is based on certain types of aggregation and condition filtering and calculations for data extraction.



3. BQB Listing Data Analysis


According to the content mentioned in the first section, a DID is a unique serial number purchased by a SIG member company (Associate member, Adopter member). The company uses DID and quotes QDID to declare that its products comply with the Bluetooth specification and serve as proof of public sale. And the DID can list one or more similar end products. Because the SIG official website limits access to the amount of background data, the 5000 pieces of DID information involve from March 19, 2019 to May 4, 2020. There are a total of 47788 end products in the list. The data contains the sum of the certifications of Bluetooth end products and Bluetooth chip hardware and software.

Bluetooth Version


Among the 5000 DID authentication numbers, Bluetooth version 5.0 was the majority, and the top three authentication versions were Bluetooth 5.0, Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth 5.1. It is worth noting that some chip manufacturers have obtained Bluetooth 5.2 certification. The certification types are mainly distributed in PYH, HOST and software SDK, involving Qualcomm, ARM, Nordic, Silcon Labs, PixArt, Realtek, HiSilicon (Hi1105C20) and other company products.



Type of company


A total of 2,264 companies had certified Bluetooth products in 5000 data (purchase DID serial numbers). According to statistics, 52 companies have purchased more than 10 DID serial numbers. As the company that bought the most DIDs, Samsung purchased 230 DIDs in total, the by Haiwei purchased 88 DIDs in total, Xiaomi purchased 79 DIDs in total, and Haman ranked fourth with 69 DID numbers in total. In the first chapter, we know that one DID can list multiple terminal products. According this rule, a total of 47,788 products had Bluetooth certification and were sold in the market (the actual number of certifications will be less than 47788, because some certifications come from the original chip factory and not end products). However, the actual number of Bluetooth products circulating in the market should be far more than 47788, because many products are sold directly on the market without certification.



Product Type


We integrated the certification list of more than 200 companies and the list of declared names and found that Huawei was among the best. With the name of the product certification, it can be roughly inferred that mobile phone products have the largest number of Bluetooth certifications, by mobile phone accessories, and next is TV products. What is more surprising is that the number of light control certifications is very large. Zumtobel is a well-known lighting company in Europe, and Aurora Lighting is a local lighting layout company. Looking for detailed information, it found that the Bluetooth technology used by the two companies on the lighting control is not the Mesh protocol, but the BT4.2 protocol.



In the figure, it can be seen that the number of Huawei certified products accounted for the majority. Combining DID data analysis, an interesting thing can be found that Huawei does not directly purchase the most DIDs, Huawei quotes QDID, and the number of products in the list is much higher than that of Samsung. There are two things that can be learned from Huawei, 1. Maximize the use of the purchased DID  2. Rich in product form and variety.



Audio Factory Trends


According to a report from the original manufacturer of the TWS headset chip in 2019 organized online, and tracking the progress of these companies’ Bluetooth R&D certification in 2019, the full ranges of Qualcomm (CSR) products have been upgraded to 5.1 or 5.2. Huawei chips are waiting to be better. Cypress products include some BLE product certifications, and there are many Bluetooth 5.2 certified chips in other original manufacturers. It should be noted that the products certified by Apple are not TWS headsets. There are two certifications on the Macbook and IOS HOST end protocols, and the other Mesh is certification on the watch.



Trends of Foreign-Funded LE Original Manufacturers


Nordic upgraded the SDK for all products, certified Bluetooth 5.1 and 5.2 protocols, however, we did not find out the relevant certification information about the new chip nRF52820. The following is NXP, its certification data includes products that just acquired from Marvell. Dialog 14531 has completed the controller and host certification, and it should be launched on the market soon.



Trends of China's Bluetooth Original Manufacturers


A total of 17 China’s semiconductor companies have submitted chip certification related DIDs in the past year. There are not many products certified by each company, and there is a certain gap in the number of chips involved compared with foreign companies. There are so many companies that still make me feel the power of domestic semiconductors. Among them, Telink had only three new product certifications last year, one is module certification, the one is controller and the other is host 5.0 upgrade certification, which no new product and new protocol stack certifications.


Bluetooth chip original manufacturer trends


Chip manufacturers are actively upgrading new protocol standards and certifying new chips. From the data analysis, the first is the Bluetooth 5.1 version with a total of 57 certifications; the second is the Bluetooth 5.0 version with a total of 30 chip certifications; the third is the Bluetooth 5.2 with a total of 22. It is not clear whether the certified Bluetooth 5.2 version chip supports LE Audio and LC3 audio codecs.



4. Summary


The business model and operating model of the SIG are worth learning from domestic technology companies.


Standard-setting organizations earn a lot of money through technical authorization.


Thanks to the scientific research achievements of technical experts for making new Bluetooth technologies emerge endlessly.


Technology licensing of mobile phones and audio devices is the main source of revenue for the SIG.


The original chip manufacturer competition is extremely fierce. In addition to comparing chip functions and radio frequency performance, the development, maintenance and upgrade of the wireless protocol stack is also a very large and complex task.
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Brittany

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