You are on page 1of 11

IEE 802.

11  System Architecture  Protocol Architecture
 As indicated by the standard number, IEEE 802.11 fits seamlessly into the other 802.x standards for wired LANs  Applications should not notice any difference apart from the lower bandwidth and perhaps higher access time from the wireless LAN. The WLAN behaves like a slow wired LAN. Consequently, the higher layers (application, TCP, IP) look the same for wireless nodes as for wired nodes.  The upper part of the data link control layer, the logical link control (LLC), covers the differences of the medium access control layers needed for the different media.  The IEEE 802.11 standard only covers the physical layer PHY and medium access layer MAC like the other 802.x LANs do  The physical layer is subdivided into the physical layer convergence protocol (PLCP) and the physical medium dependent sublayer PMD.  The basic tasks of the MAC layer comprise medium access, fragmentation of user data, and encryption.

. the PMD sublayer handle e es in modulation and encodin m a ng/decoding of signals g s. and provides a common P ( d PHY service access po (SAP) e oint ndependent of the transmission technology. calle clear channel ed assessment (CCA). The PLCP su T ublayer pro ovides a carr sense s rier signal. F Finally.

2 bits are mapped to one frequency).11 supports three different physical layers: one layer based on infra red and two layers based on radio transmission (primarily in the ISM band at 2. The MAC management supports the association and reassociation of a station to an access point and roaming between different access points. MAC management also maintains the MAC management information base (MIB). the standard specifies management layers and the station management. maximum transmit power is 1 W in the US. synchronization of a station with regard to an access point.. station management interacts with both management layers and is responsible for additional higher layer functions (e. While sending and receiving at 1 Mbit/s is mandatory for all devices.e.. and 23 hopping channels for Japan (each with a bandwidth of 1 MHz in the 2. and power management to save battery power. Physical Layer: IEEE 802.4 GHz.4 GHz ISM band). The selection of a particular channel is achieved by using a pseudo-random hopping pattern. 1 bit is mapped to one frequency).. The original standard defines 79 hopping channels for North America and Europe. This is needed for the MAC mechanisms controlling medium access and indicates if the medium is currently idle. operation at 2 Mbit/s is optional. e.g.11.g. as modulation for the FHSS PHY. a 4 level GFSK for 2 Mbit/s (i. For 1 Mbit/s a 2 level GFSK is used (i. All PHY variants include the provision of the clear channel assessment signal (CCA). GFSK. The standard specifies Gaussian shaped FSK (frequency shift keying). control of bridging and interaction with the distribution system in the case of an access point). Frequency hopping spread spectrum FHSS which allows for the coexistence of multiple networks in the same area by separating different networks using different hopping sequences . . which is available worldwide).  The main tasks of the PHY management include channel tuning and PHY MIB maintenance. 100 mW EIRP (equivalent isotropic radiated power) in Europe and 10 mW/MHz in Japan. This facilitated the production of low-cost devices for the lower rate only and more powerful devices for both transmission rates in the early days of 802.e. Apart from the protocol sublayers. It also controls authentication mechanisms. National restrictions also determine further parameters.. Finally. The PHY layer offers a service access point (SAP) with 1 or 2 Mbit/s transfer rate to the MAC layer (basic version of the standard). encryption.

● PLCP signalling field (PSF): This 4 bit field in P g ndicates the data rate of the pay yload followin All bits set to zero (0000) in ng.4 GHz 1 HY nd rs nd ISM ban and offer both 1 an 2 Mbit/s data rates. –1). o ndicates the lowest da rate of 1 Mbit/s. 2 checksum with the standard IT ● Direct sequenc spread spectrum t ce d m s pread spectrum (DSS is the alternative spread sp SS) pectrum me ethod Direct sequence sp separatin by code and not by frequency. –1. . P e e PLW can rang between 0 and 4. +1. CP ed 6 m TU-T gener rator polyno omial G(x) = x16 + x12 + x5 + 1. This sy ystem obviousl does not accommod today’s higher data rates. +1. which is a h 010101. the PLCP part (preamble and heade and the p ic e t e er) payload par Addition rt. ttern is used for synch hronization of potentia receivers and al s etection by the CCA.5 Mb i d 0 bit/s (1111). ing achieved using the 11-chip Ba d arker sequence (+1. –1 +1. +1. In the cas of IEEE 802.11 DSS spreadi is ng y se SS. MAC da is scram ata mbled using the polynom s(z) = z7 + z4 + 1. the implementation is more complex compared to FHSS.. 0000110010 0111101. mial The field of the fra fulfill the followin function ds ame t ng ns: Synch hronization The PLC preamble starts wit 80 bit sy n: CP th ynchronizat tion.11 DSSS PH also uses the 2. bit patter This pat rn.. signal de ● frame delim f miter (SFD The foll D): lowing 16 b indicate the start o the frame and bits e of e provide frame sync chronization The SFD pattern is 0 n. 1. . IE c o EEE 802. ly date s a ● Header error check (HE c EC): Finally the PLC header is protecte by a 16 bit y. – +1. ● Start PLCP P_PDU length word (PLW): Th first fie of the P his eld PLCP head indicates the der length of the paylo in bytes including the 32 bit C o oad s CRC at the end of the payload. T 2 e ata The Mbit/s is indicated by 0010 and the maximum is 8.095 ge 5. How wever. –1. The fr rame consis of sts two basi parts. –1.Figure below show a frame of the physical layer us with FH b ws o sed HSS. nally. The key characteri y istics of th method are its rob his bustness ag gainst inter rference an its nd insensiti ivity to mul ltipath prop pagation tim delay sp me pread).

● . The s symbol rate is 1 MHz resulting in a e z.11b are still backw ward compa atible to these lower data rates. The f fields always transmitted at 1 Mbit/s payload. ● Synchronization: ● Start frame del limiter (SF FD): This 16 bit field is used f synchro d for onization a the at ng me sists of the pattern 111100111010 p 00000. and frequen offset co t a ncy ompensatio on. service. t um it he EIRP in Europe an 10 mW/ n nd /MHz in Ja apan. how ce: ld re wever.. i. i data. The value 0x0A indic he . s me p yer frame consi of two b ists basic Figure shows a fram of the physical lay using DSSS. i. o ve fined for this field to i indicate the data e rate of th payload. MAC d of the frame have th followin functions he ng s: The first 128 bits are not only u 1 e used for syn nchronizatio but also gain on.. the maximu transmi power is 1 W in th US. nt ● Lengt 16 bit are used in this case for le th: ts d c ength indic cation of the payloa in ad microsec conds. ● Servic This fiel is reserved for futur use. beginnin of a fram and cons Signal Originally only two values hav been def l: y. ● Heade error ch er heck (HEC Signal. energy dete e ection (for the CCA). The f parts. hi s O es en d igher bit rates.11 complian frame. Other value have bee reserved for future use. 0x00 indicates a IEEE 80 0 an 02.e. an length fi C): nd fields are pr rotected by this y checksum using the ITU-T CR m e RC-16 stand dard polyno omial. All bits transm g mitted by th DSSS PH are scra he HY ambled with the h polynom s(z) = z7 + z4 + 1 for DC blo mial ocking and whitening of the spectrum. can us 1 or 2 M se Mbit/s.The sys stem uses differentia binary phase shift keying (DBPSK) for 1 M al Mbit/s transmis ssion and differential quadrature phase shi keying ( d e ift (DQPSK) f 2 Mbit as for t/s modulat tion scheme Again. Man of d g ny today’s products of ffering 11 Mbit/s acco M ording to 802. 2 Mbit/s (and thus DQPSK). 100 mW es. chipping rate of 11 MHz. the PLCP par (preambl and header) and the payload pa While th PLCP part is rt le art. cates 1 Mbi (and thu DBPSK) 0x14 indicates it/s us ). setting. he t s.e.

 If two MSs transmit at the same time and the transmissions are both in range of the destination.  Decisions based on the RSS may create false alarms caused by high interference levels. either by sensing the detected bits in the air or by checking the RSS of the carrier against a threshold. but there is no collision detection. IEEE 802.11network have to share the transmission medium. which is air.  Instead.  This time is stored in a network allocation vector (NAV) that counts down to zero to indicate when the medium is free again. the strategy adopted is to avoid collisions to the greatest extent possible. resulting in the frames being lost. unlike the wired equivalent LAN standard (IEEE 802. but they are more reliable.11 Medium Access Control Layer  MSs in an IEEE802.  The CCA is generated based on “real” sensing of the air interface.  Detecting collisions also results difficulties in hardware implementation because an MS has to be transmitting and receiving at the same time. The receiver reads the peak voltage on the wire or cable and compares that against a threshold.3.  In IEEE 802.  A “length” field in the MAC layer is used to specify the amount of time that must elapse before the medium can be freed.  In IEEE 802.  In addition to physical sensing.11 frame that allows an MS to know the time for which a frame will last.  The best designs take advantage of both carrier sensing and detected data sensing.  Physical sensing is through a clear channel assessment (CCA) signal produced by the physical layer convergence protocol (PLCP) in the physical layer of the IEEE802. .  Decisions based on the detected bits are made slightly slower. then they may collide.  The medium access mechanism is based on CSMA.11.The IEEE 802. there are two types of carrier sensing: physical sensing of energy in the medium and virtual sensing.11. sensing the channel is very simple.  The MAC layer is responsible for controlling access to the medium and ensuring that MSs can access the medium in a fair manner with minimal collisions.11 also provides for virtual carrier sensing.  Collisions are extremely hard to detect in RF because of the dynamic nature of the channel.  Virtual sensing is implemented by decoding a duration field in the 802.3).

called the DCF. d  The basic medium acce process in IEEE 80  Consider the figure wh C e hich shows the basic m method for accessing the mediu in r um IE 802. Th waiting time is used for s st fo his asynchronou data serv within a contention period. d ave k T ss a able and he ence all tra ansmissions are s  The wireles medium is harsh and unrelia ac cknowledge ed. w will use the ad hoc topology a an T e AC we c as ex xample. Ho owever.11 MA layer. the MS will enter a back-off process. M r ff  The rational is that if another MS senses th medium after the f T le f M he m first MS. the procedure are ident e es tical in an infrastructu topolog as ure gy well. . before a tim DIFS expires. then the M can tra without wait w ting.  An MS will initially se A ense the cha annel before transmiss e sion.11. the second MS will ha to back off. us vice n f um MS ansmit its fr frame  If the mediu is still idle after the DIFS. To illustrate the IEEE 802.  DCF inter-frame spacing (DIFS This pa D S): arameter de enotes the longest wa aiting ti ime and has the lowes priority for medium access. Otherw wise. aring the tra ansmission. If the medium is free. w The Distr T ributed Coordinat C tion Fun nction T ess 02. th first MS would h H b me he S have started its d tr ransmission Upon hea n. th it hen will also wai for the DI w it IFS. th the MS will contin hen S nuously mo onitor the m medium for a Period of time called the f DCF IFS (D D DIFS).11 EEE 1.  However.

the CW is maintained at a value called CW e m e Wmin.3. In su a uch ca ase. any other MS th senses the channel as idle aft the orig T o hat t l fter ginal frame was e tr ransmitted will still be waiting and AC frames have prio g CK ority over their tr ransmission ns. then the to MS will free the coun and con M eze nter ntinue to m monitor the m medium.  The IEEE 80  In nitially. F exampl it is 20 u in For le.  The exceptio is when it is transm T on mitting one frame in m e many fragm ments. ten If the medium is sensed as occupie before th counter g f d ed he goes down t zero.11b stand he dard and 9u in the 802 us 2.11 MAC supports binary expo C b onential bac ck-off like IE EEE802. So the BI will Be uniform distribut between 0 and 31 s 1 t B mly ted n slots. Wh the medium is fre for at le a m hen ee east ti ime DIFS. us  The slot tim varies de th IEEE 802. The destinat T tion of the frame will send an a l acknowledg gement (AC back to the CK) o so ource if the frame is su e uccessfully received. the MS can ind M dicate the number of fragments in the fir frame t be n rst to tr ransmitted and occupy the channe until the f a y el frame is com mpletely tra ansmitted. whi is typi ically ich 2 1 31 slots. This proce is o. The t d s SIFS value is smaller th the DIF value. The MS wil then mon T ll nitor the medium. the MS will start cou unting dow from the BI value as long as the wn e s medium is fr The cou m ree. .  In order to maintain fai n m irness and avoid collis a sions.     The back-of process works as fo T ff w ollows. As soon the counter be A ecomes zero the MS c transmit its frame. Once an MS enters th back-off process.  It will wait for a time called the short IFS (SIFS) and transmits the ACK. it picks a value calle the back O he f ed k-off in nterval (BI) that is a random va ) alue unifor rmly distrib buted betw ween zero a a and number calle the Cont n ed tention Win ndow (CW). the M that sen MS nses the med dium as free for a time DIF and tran FS nsmits a fr rame will h have to ent the back ter k-off process if it wants to tra ansmit anot ther frame i immediately y.11a standa ard. unter is dec cremented e every so oft (called a slot). T me epending on the physi n ical layer. can ess sh hown in Fig gure below. T 02. S i han FS  Thus. .

This process ca be contin 3 s an nued until C reache a value th is CW es hat CWmax (usu C ually 1023 slots). So. r rame is disc carded as b being hed. there is a unique pro n n hat rier oblem called the d hidden term h minal problem.  The rationa behind this appro T ale oach is as follows. as shown in Figure below. B increasi the valu of t ns n By ing ue CW. by g  Frames may be lost du to channe errors or collisions. nd R n The Hidde Termin Probl T en nal lem and O Optional M Mechanis sm T n by ut MS-B. C tially doubl led. IE EEE 802. MS. w when  The transmission from MS-A can be heard b MS-C bu not by M MS-A is tran M nsmitting a frame to MS-C.will not sense the c M -B channel as busy an MS-A is hidden fro MS-B. it is likely that this probability will go do C s own. A positive ACK from the F y ue el r e m destination is necessary to ensure that the fram has bee successfu receive In d i y me en ully ed.11 each MS maintains retry count 1. Suppose all MSs a identica and have a transmis e are al e ssion an reception range of R. thereb reducing collisions. Their transmission will then collide. If a packet is not succ f cessfully transmitted ( (this could be due to collisions or a ch hannel erro then the value of CW is essent or). the fr undeliverabl u le.  The MS wil now pick a BI valu that is u T ll k ue uniformly d distributed between 0 and 2 1 63 slots. If both MS-A and MS transmit frames to MSnd s om I S-B t . S nters that are incremen nted if no A ACKs ar received After a retry threshold is reach re d. If there a many MSs s are co ontending for the med f dium. then it is likely that one o more MS may pick the or Ss k sa ame BI val lue.  In wireless networks th use carr sensing .

 In response to the RTS frame.  There is a dual problem called the exposed terminal problem.  This is achieved by the virtual carrier sensing process that sets the NAV to a value equal to the time it will take to complete the exchange of frames successfully.  Both hidden and exposed terminals cause a loss of throughput. MS-A is transmitting a frame to MS-D.C at the same time. Consequently. MS-C will send a clear-to-send (CTS) frame that will be heard by all MSs in its transmission range.  The CTS frame lets MS-A know that MS-C is ready to receive the data frame.11 MAC has an optional mechanism at the MAC layer. MS-B will defer any frames that it wishes to transmit in anticipation of the completion of the communication to MS-C.  This way. However. MS-C could have transmitted a frame to MS-B and the two transmissions would not interfere or collide. To reduce the possibility of collisions due to the hidden terminal problem. it is quite possible that the RTS frame itself collided with a transmission from MS-B. In this case.  Suppose MS-A wants to transmit a frame to MS-C. The RTS frame is heard in the transmission range of MS-A and includes MS-C and MS-D. but not MS-B. thereby reducing the hidden terminal problem. This problem is called the hidden terminal problem. the frames will collide. This includes MS-B and MS-A but not MS-D. the CTS message can be used to extend the carrier sensing range. both MS-A and MS-B will have to enter the back-off process and retransmit their frames. which then backs off. as given below. In such a case.  Both MS-C and MS-D are alerted to the fact that MS-A intends to transmit a frame and they will not attempt to simultaneously use the medium. . MS-A is called an exposed terminal. This transmission is heard by MS-C. It also alerts MS-B to the fact that there will be a transmission from some MS to MS-C. even though MS-B is outside the transmission range of MS-A. In this case. It will first transmit a short frame called the RTS frame.  Of course. the IEEE 802.

.  Using the RTS-CTS si U R ignals redu uces the thr roughput of a WLAN but it ma be f N. which disab RTS-C for all p w bles CTS packets. This way. all frames wi use RTS-CTS. The default val is B his o l ill lue 2347 bytes. The RTS-CT mechan T TS nism can be controlle in IEEE 802. u  By setting th value to 0bytes. the CTS fr MS after wa M aiting simply for a tim equal to SIFS. the CTS frame has me o e priority com mpared with all other transmissio h t ons. which have to wa for at le a ait east ti DIFS and perhaps an addition waiting time in bac ime nal ck-off.  All unicast and manag A gement fra ames larger than this threshold will alway be r ys tr ransmitted using RTS--CTS.11 by using an RTS ed y th hreshold. ay essential to use this in dense enviro u d onments. W ls rame is tran nsmitted by the destination y  When RTS-CTS signal are used.