According to this thread: Simultaneously advertise and scan
You can send and receive packets at the same time, just not advertising with connectivity.
Otherwise, doing a time-multiplexed approach like you suggested is possible and feasible, but would have some lag-time for discovering the device based on the time it takes for switching between the two modes and how long it is scanning vs advertising.
(duty cycle comes to mind).
Depending on if your device B is moving, you could set it to only scan once every x seconds/minutes/hours for the ibeacon; This would limit downtime for advertising to device A.
To implement both scanning and advertising you would need to set your device to the central and peripheral mode to be able to round-robin/switch between the two.
Many thanks for the prompt reply.
I understand the the round robin mechanism needed to switch from Central to Peripheral, although I haven't tried it yet. This could be one approach to solve my case.
Still, to simplify my question maximally: If BLE device is connected - is it possible for that device to still perform scanning (passive or active) in order to receive info from surrounding beacons?
P.S. I'm not sure someone else should mark answer as a correct one, although I agree that it is a correct and helpful one, but still...
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No. Since you have to stop scanning in order to initiate a connection with a device, I would say that once a device has an active connection working, it can no longer do any scanning. You would not be able to perform scanning while connected to another device in a connection. You can however, transmit broadcast messages while connected; according to this thread: http://origin-www.cypress.com/forum/psoc-4-ble/gap-profiles-broadcast-observer
P.S. The only ones who can mark other's answers as correct are cypress employees. It is possible to mark multiple answers correct if I am not mistaken.