Difference Between Piconet and Scatternet

Main Difference

In Piconet many networks are linked together by using the devices like Bluetooth. Scatternet is formed two or more piconets form a network, it actually acts as a bridge between multiple piconets. Both are usually applied to Bluetooth devices. Moreover scatternet and piconet are ad hoc computer networks. Piconet has a maximum network range of 7 devices while scatternet has a range of more than 8 devices. Both are applied to wireless Bluetooth technology/devices. The devices in piconet basically function as a master and slave piconet and scatternet has devices in which one of the piconet types participates as a master or a slave in another type of piconet from the same scatternet. At the master, radio is designated which is responsible for determining the channel and then the phase which is used by every device on that piconet. So the radio gives a parameter according to which every device has to tune itself. In these types of networks the slaves and master go hand in hand and they cannot function without each other. And the slave cannot function without the master until and unless it is granted permission by the master. Furthermore, network area is covered by piconet as the optimal range is 10 meters but scatternet can cover a larger area as it has a large range. Also, there is less efficient use of Bluetooth channel bandwidth while on the other hand scatternett having a network of multiple piconets has an efficient channel bandwidth. If we look upon data sharing ability then scatternet normally has unlimited network and sharing ability as compared to piconett which has a limited one. Both the networks can be applied with smartphones, small mobile and home appliances. But mainly as piconet is a simpler network than scatternet so it can serve small devices and appliances while scatternet having a complex network which can work with more than 8 devices has the ability to handle smartphones and new home appliances. At the time of application the rate of data transfer in a piconet varies from 220-2, 100 kbps.

Comparison Chart

PiconetScatternet
FormationFormed by different networks linked together with the Bluetooth technology.Formed by combining two or more piconets.
CapacityHas the ability serve up to 7-8 devicesCan serve more than 8 devices.
CoverageSmaller area is coveredLarger area is covered
BandwidthAllows less efficient use of channel bandwidthMore efficient use of channel bandwidth

Definition of Piconet

The word piconet was derived from “Pico” which means “very small” and in regard to piconet and yes it is a small network which can connect up to only 7 devices. It is an ad-hoc computer network which is a medium through which wireless devices are linked together by the help of Bluetooth devices. Once a network is made there are devices which act as master and slave and they work with each other by coordinating different frequencies. As it has a less, small and inefficient channel bandwidth so it is also termed as PAN which means personal area network. This network covers the area of only the size of a room so it can be implemented on small devices like mobile and home appliances which need to communicate with each other. The example of its implementation can be of PS3 which is a gaming system. It’s up to us that how many wired controllers we want connect with PS3 but usually we can connect two but not anymore. Piconet allows connecting all 4 controllers at the same time by implementing the Bluetooth technology where the main console station acts as a master and the controllers as slaves.

Definition of Scatternet

The word itself is self-explanatory to a certain limit as it says “scatter” which means in various or many direction. So, scatternet is a network which at least is made by combining two or more piconets. It is also associated with the Bluetooth devices which latter act as master and slaves i.e. when a certain device in the piconet acts a s master or a slave by participating with another piconet which also acts as a master or a slave. Scatternet mainly acts a bridge among different piconets. This network (scatternet) is an amazing network which has a large, efficient and more channel bandwidth as it has the ability to serve large area networks and more than 8 devices. This type of valuable network can be used with regard to the communication in robots where they would connect to each other while one acting as a master and the other as a slave.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Piconet is formed by different networks linked together with the Bluetooth technology; scatternet is formed by combining two or more piconets.
  2. Has the ability serve upto 7-8 devices; scatternet can serve more than 8 devices.
  3. Scatternet has a large coverage area; piconet has a small coverage area.
  4. In this type of Bluetooth network the devices connected can act as either master or slave whereas in scatternet the devices can act as either master or slave or sometimes even both.
  5. Piconet is a simple network; scatternet is a bit advanced and complex network.
  6. Scatternet allows more efficient use of channel bandwidth while piconet allows less efficient use of channel bandwidth with regard to Bluetooth.
  7. Piconet can be used in small mobile devices and home appliances; scatternet can be used with smartphones and many home appliances.

Conclusion

There are instances while using your phone that you click a button and then do not know what actually is happening. The two terms explained in this article are same, they are used a lot by people knowingly or unknowingly but they do not have an idea of their functions. This article, hopefully will help people in understanding the two terms.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss

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