Thursday, 3 May 2007

Bluetooth Stacks and Windows Mobile

If you want to programmatically access the Bluetooth stacks on Windows Mobile its worth knowing that the Pocket PC stack is different from the stack in Smartphone.

Pocket PC uses the Broadcom stack, the SDK can be freely downloaded from Broadcom at

Smartphone uses the standard Microsoft stack that has its API set built into the Smartphone SDK, the details of which can we seen on MSDN


txvs said...


I'm trying to use bluetooth with a pocketpc which hasn't got it built-in. I connected a usb-bluetooth dongle through a usb-host and I can discover my device, but no much more. I tried to install Broadcom stack on my device to add functionality, but I don't find it anywhere... do you know if it's possible?

Thank you very much.

GraemeW said...

hmm not sure what you're describing here!

have you added a bluetooth device to your PocketPC or to your PC?

PocketPC has the broadcom stack already built in, if you've installed a 3rd party bluetooth device on your Pocketpc and you've installed some software then you maybe running a completely different bt stack.

Whats the hardware set up, i.e. whats the model of the pocketpc and what bt device are you using (is it on the pc of pocketpc end as well!)

Sean said...

I'm from Rococo Software (, and I have a Bluetooth on Microsoft query that's somewhat detailed. We're trying to find the right person to put this query to (see below). Any advice as to where we can go would be most welcome.



For a long time, we've wanted to build a version of our JSR82 Java/Bluetooth implementation for Windows Mobile (and XP, Vista). However, there were no L2CAP APIs available, which was a showstopper for us as JSR82 depends partly on having L2CAP APIs available.

Now - we're aware that there are new APIs in Vista for L2CAP, which is great. We're interested however in Windows Mobile initially.

Windows CE provides a mechanism by which you can extend the functionality of the Bluetooth stack. This mechanism allows an extension layer to be developed and installed on top of different layers of the stack, including L2CAP, allowing access to that layers functionality. This page describes the extension layer:

Unfortunately this msdn page seems to suggest that this may not be possible on Windows Mobile platforms.

We fare trying to find out two things:

- Is it possible to do what we want on windows mobile (i.e access L2CAP via the extension layer)? (as it is, we believe, a subset of Windows CE)

- If it is possible to extend the L2CAP layer, we also want to know if this can be created and installed on a windows mobile device without the need to build it into the operating system image itself. Or - do we need to use Platform Builder to rebuild the operating system, including the required extension layer module in the build?

Any hints, guidance or suggestions AT ALL will be most welcome!



jgl said...

This isn't quite true.

There are some Smartphones (such as the AT&T Q9h) that use the Broadcom/Widcomm stack and some Pocket PCs (such as the HTC-8900) that use the Microsoft stack.

GraemeW said...

Yep you're right. Since writting this way back when I're realised thi!

The HTC Tyan uses the Microsoft stack for example, also the Tosh stack can be used as well I believe...

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