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Embedded IrDA Protocol Stack Technology for portable devices
Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

  • When is the IrPro-On-Chip solution better than the IrPro SDK solution?
  • Why is IrTESTER provided with each IrPro licensed product and why do I need it?
  • What type of licensing is available for IrPro technology?
  • Does IrPro require an RTOS to work?
  • How can I get a Quote for IrPro?
  • What does IrDA stand for?
  • What is the IrDA definition of mandatory software protocols (IAS, IrLMP, IrLAP)?
  • How does IrPro Integrate with my embedded application?
  • Can IrPro be Ported to a new platform?
  • What IrDA protocols (and their speeds) are currently supported in the Microsoft Operating systems: WIN95, NT 4.0, WIN98, WIN2K, WIN CE?
    Also, for each Microsoft OS type where do we obtain the specs for the APIs to the supported IrDA stack?
  • Since IrCOMM supports several different modes of protocol operation, how do I determine which one to use and what other protocols will be required?
  • How can I ensure that my embedded device's IrDA application is compatible with third party IrDA supported devices?

When is the IrPro-On-Chip solution better than the IrPro SDK solution?
IrPro-On-Chip protocol solutions offer a turnkey solution for a specific CPU. The protocol has been verified and is ready to use as a stand-alone protocol engine or may be coupled with an application. All popular protocols are supported ( OBEX and IrCOMM) for primary and secondary stacks.
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Do I need IrSimple protocols?
IrSimple protocols are only used by devices that need to communicate with third party products supporting the same protocol. Most manufacturers tha support IrSimple display the logos" IrSimple" or IrSS" in their product data sheets. See www.irda.org for a list of IrSS enabled products. As of 2007, most PDA's and operating systems do not support this protocol which was design to support sub 1 second multimedia exchanges between cell phones, display devices, printers, cameras while using a 4Mbit IrDA physical interface.
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What is the EMBEDnet Advantage?
EMBEDnet technology is proven, efficient, and cleanly designed for embedded use. Qualified sales and technical support professionals will not waste any time to provide you with an optimal solution for your embedded networking requirements.
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Why is IrTESTER provided with each IrPro licensed SDK and why do I need it?
Final protocol validation is essential for any new product that incorporates protocol technology. The IrTESTER test harness provides a golden reference for expected IrDA protocol behavior during and after the stack integration process.
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What type of licensing is available for IrPro technology?
Licensing for EMBEDnet protocol technology is tailored to fit any product model. All licenses are non-royalty based and are reasonably priced for the technology offering.
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Does IrPro require an RTOS to work??
IrPro technology is configured to execute in a polled ( NO-RTOS) environment or with a commercial RTOS.
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How mature is IrPro IrDA Stack technology?
The IrPro core stack technology was first introduced in 1998 and has been ported and proven on about every popular Embedded CPU and Compiler combination on the market. "We utilize the same stack core on every processor, this includes the P16/18 and 8051". Customer feedback and technical issues are resolved to improve EMBEDnet technology per ISO 2001 QMS.
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How can I get a Quote for IrPro?
Please fill out a Quote Form and EMBEDnet will acknowledge your request within 1 business day. A detailed quote or information response will be provided within 5 business days.
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What does IrDA stand for?
IrDA, Infrared Data Association, is an International Organization that develops and promotes compatible, low cost infrared data interconnection standards that support a walk-up, point-to-point user model. The standards support a broad range of appliances, computing and communications devices.
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What is the IrDA definition of mandatory software protocols, ( IAS, IrLMP, IrLAP)?

IAS (Information Access Service): A mandatory protocol defined by the IrDA to be used as a set along with IrLMP and IrLAP protocols. Each device maintains a mini-database of the services it provides, and their attributes. A required service attribute is the LSAP-SEL. Unlike TCP/IP where service ( well known ) port numbers are known in advance, each primary device must ask the secondary device what its port (LSAP-SEL) is for the service it want to connect to. IAS uses the Information Access Protocol (IAP) to resolve query's and responses between an IAS client and server. A secondary stack will generally contain an IAS server.
IrLMP (Link Management Protocol): A mandatory protocol defined by the IrDA to be used as a set along with IrLAP and IR device PHY protocols. Provides fundamental discovery, multiplexing, and link control operations between stations. It supports multiplexing of multiple applications over a single IrLAP link. It also provides protocol and service discovery via the IAS (Information Access Service).
IrLAP (Link Access Protocol): A mandatory protocol defined by the IrDA to be used as a set along with IrLMP and IR device PHY protocols. Provides a device to device connection for the reliable, ordered transfer of data; and device discovery procedures.
PHY (Physical Signaling Layer): A mandatory protocol defined by the IrDA to be used as a set along with IrLAP and IrLMP protocols. PHY is managed by and contained in the physical IR device hardware. PHY does the following: Allows Bidirectional communication for a range of at least 1 meter. Allows data transmissions from 9600 bps to a maximum speed of up to 4Mbps. Data packets are protected using a CRC. CRC-16 is used for speeds up to 1.152Mbps and CRC-32 at 4Mbps.
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What is the IrDA definition of optional protocols? (Tiny TP, OBEX, IrCOMM, IrTranp, IrMC)?
Tiny TP: Provides flow control on IrLMP connections with an optional Segmentation and Reassembly service.
OBEX: Provides object exchange services similar to HTTP, but is more flexible, compact and efficient for embedded devices. It supports the basic need for devices to send arbitrary data objects to each other in a logically straight forward manner. OBEX consists of a model for representing objects and a protocol to support communication between devices.
IrTranP: Provides image exchange protocol used in Digital Image capturing devices, i.e. digital cameras, etc.
IrMC: Specifications on how mobile telephony and communication devices can exchange information. This includes phonebook, calendar, and message data. Also specifies how call control and real-time voice (RTCON) are handled.
IrCOMM: Provides COM (serial and parallel) port emulation for legacy COM applications, printing, and modem devices.
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What is an IrDA Protocol Stack?
A protocol stack is a well defined, layered set of protocols, each layer performs a specific set of functions whose sole purpose is to manage the delivery and flow of control and application data packets from one device to another. An IrDA protocol stack is used for point to point infrared communications and is contained in devices that require IrDA infrared communications compatibility.

This diagram basically shows the relationship between a primary and secondary stack. Please see the IrPro data sheet for the exploded view of the IrPro primary and secondary stack.
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What is a Primary Stack?
In a client/server communication model, the primary stack behaves like a client. It actively seeks out remote devices to connect with. After a connection is established, the primary stack may transfer and receive data as required by the application.
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What is a Secondary Stack?
In a client/server communication model, the secondary stack behaves like a server. It passively waits for a remote client device to request a connection. After a connection is established, the secondary stack may transfer and receive data as required by the application. The secondary stack is ideal for low power devices since all the device electronics can remain in a low power state until an external infrared signal is detected. Since this stack uses minimal resources, it is used in cost sensitive or resource constrained devices.
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How does IrPro Integrate with my embedded application?
IrPro was designed to use "Embedded Software Component" technology. This ensures that all stack interfaces are localized and documented. IrPro's Application interface allows the developer to concentrate on the application without having to learn the details of the stack. IrPro only requires a timer resource and a UART resource from the device system. The timer can be a dedicated timer from an interrupt handler or a count value that is maintained by the operating system. The UART resource can be a dedicated device driver or a shared system resource. IrPro comes with sample drivers and test applications. We also provide integration and device driver development services.
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Can IrPro be Ported to a new platform?
IrPro was designed to incorporate "Porting Technology". Software tool chain and platform dependencies are localized and documented. This ensures that porting efforts are focused, efficient, and fast. We are dedicated to supporting all popular RISC and CISC platforms.
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Can I write my own Device Driver for IrPro?
IrPro has a documented device driver API and comes with sample device drivers for interrupt and polled driver models.
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Can I interface IrPro to a commercial RTOS?
IrPro has successfully interfaced to commerial RTOS's such as Nucleus PLUS, MicroC/OS-II, ThreadX, and SuperTask. The RTOS interface for IrPro is abstracted out into a single header file. IrPro's user guide details the RTOS interface procedure. If you are familiar with the RTOS and IrPro 's architecture, the effort required to complete the interface is approximately one man week.
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What is a Framer Layer?
In IrPro, the frame layer prepares the IrLAP frame for transmission over the physical serial medium by wrapping it within a frame wrapper and encoding control characters in the data payload to make them transparent to the frame receiver. IrPro supports all three types of Frame wrappers:
  • Asynchronous (ASYNC) Framing (9600 bps - 115.2 kbps)
  • Synchronous (SYNC) HDLC Framing (576 kbps and 1.152 Mbps)
  • Synchronous 4 PPM Framing (4 Mbps)
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Do I need an infrared link when using the test programs?

Actually, all it takes is a null modem cable and two x86 based computers, each with a NS16550 serial port. Just connect the two computers together, then load and execute the IrPro primary and secondary test programs (or compile them yourself). The IrDA software protocol stack doesn't care what the physical link is, whether it's infrared or a direct connect cable. These test programs can be used as a known reference when you are initially getting your embedded target to talk IrDA.
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Why should I buy IrPro when I can build my own IrDA protocol stack?

Three rational reasons: 1) time to market, 2) product quality, 3) technology spring boarding
  1. Your product gets to market faster at a fraction of the cost it would take to design, implement and test an IrDA protocol stack in-house.
  2. IrPro is a fully tested and complete implementation of the core IrDA specifications (with enhanced extensions). You can focus on the design, implementation, and testing of your application code knowing that IrPro is a solid component of your embedded system.
  3. IrPro is core IrDA communication technology that you can depend and build on. You will communicate directly with our senior engineers when resolving your integration issues. With the source code you are in complete control of fine tuning your embedded application so it works the way you want it to.
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What IrDA protocols (and their speeds) are currently supported in the Microsoft Operating systems: WIN95, NT 4.0, WIN98, WIN2K, WIN CE? ( Information supplied by Microsoft)
OS Speed IrDA Protocols
WIN95 none none
WIN95 OSR2 SIR IrCOMM (3-wire raw, 9-wire), IrLAN
WIN98 FIR TinyTP, IrXfer, IrCOMM (3-wire raw, 9-wire)
NT 4.0 none none
WIN2K FIR TinyTP, IrXfer, IrNET, IrCOMM (9-wire with no lead state info), IrLPT, IrTranP
WIN CE FIR(2.1) TinyTP, IrCOMM(2.0) (3-wire raw, 9-wire), IrLPT
NOTE: Other IrDA protocol vendors offer IrDA protocol stack solutions for NT 4.0 and other IrDA solutions that are not supported by Microsoft.
Also, for each Microsoft OS type where do we obtain the specs for the APIs to the supported IrDA stack?

For Windows 2000 and Windows 98, consult the Windows 2000 Driver Development Kit (for driver interfaces) and the Platform Software Development Kit (for application interfaces).
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What do the acronyms SIR, FIR, and VFIR mean?
SIR Serial Infrared: Supports speeds upto 115k baud.
FIR Fast Infrared: Supports speeds upto 4M baud.
VFIR Very fast Infrared: Supports speeds upto 16M baud.
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Since IrCOMM supports several different modes of protocol operation, how do I determine which IrCOMM protocol to use and what other protocols will be required?
IrCOMM supports 5 protocol modes of operation. The mode you will need to use depends on the data/control transfer requirements of your application and what type(s) of devices your application needs to communicate with.

Device manufacturers, like printer companies for example, do not standardize on a specific protocol: like IrLPT. Be sure to check the technical specifications of the device to know what protocols are needed to talk to the device.

All IrCOMM data transfer rates are at half duplex. The following table summarizes the typical options:
IrComm Protocol Requirements
3-wire raw Emulates RS232 or parallel data only. Only one application connection can be active on the LAP connection. Interfaces with LMP.
IrLPT Exactly like 3-wire raw in requirements except for its IAS class name. This is used to communicate with most commercial printing devices.
3-wire (cooked) Emulates RS232 data only. Multiple IrCOMM application connections can be active on the LAP connection. Interfaces with TinyTP.
9-wire Emulates RS232 data and hardware control. Multiple IrCOMM (9-wire) application connections can be active on the LAP connection. Interfaces with TinyTP.
Centronics Emulates the standard Centronics interface. Multiple IrCOMM (3-wire ) application connections can be active on the LAP connection. Interfaces with TinyTP.
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How can I ensure that my embedded device's IrDA application is compatible with third party IrDA supported devices?
The only way to guarantee successful interoperability between any two devices is to test this requirement before releasing your product. The IrDA Interoperability Test Plan categorizes a list of device classes where each class is expected to provide minimal IrDA application protocol support. For example, a printer must be able to be printed to using IrLPT. A certification of "Ir-Ready" is granted to products that have successfully passed the minimal interoperability requirements for a given device class by an approved IrDA test lab. The test lab uses certified IrDA reference products when testing a given product for interoperability within a class. You should test your product against a reference product before submitting your product to a test lab.
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Please contact EMBEDnet at:
Email: info@embednet.com
Voice: (503) 368-5351
Fax: (503) 368-5381

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