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Infrared (IR) Communication

Light Spectrum
Microwaves
Radio (RF)

109

Visible
Infrared (IR)

1012

X-Rays
Ultraviolet

1014 1015

1017

Gamma
Rays

1020

Freq.
(Hz)

FCC

Implementation costs rise significantly around 1-10 GHz. (But


one important exception is IR at around 500 THz ; very
inexpensive.)
Signals above 100 GHz cannot penetrate walls
Most signals below 300 GHz are regulated by the FCC

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Introduction

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How do you Transmit with IR

No conductor

Signal spreads from origin


Signal strength decreases with distance

Cant use amplitude

Too much noise from other IR sources (lights, people, etc.)

Cant use sign (no +/-)

Solution: Modulation

Send pulses of light to represent binary information

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Introduction

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Modulation Schemes

SIR - Serial Infrared

2400bps to 115,200bps
SIR modem is simple and low-cost

SDLC-based MIR

576Kbps and 1.152Mbps


guarantees a minimal occurrence rate of light pulses

FIR - Fast Infrared

4Mbps
power usage constant (always the same)

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Introduction

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SIR - Serial Infrared Modulation

1.6us (or 3/16 bit interval) pulse of light for each


0 in a standard asynchronous data stream

Inverse of serial RS-232 where signal is held high, then pulled


down for zeros

Stream consists of a start bit, N data bits, and 1


stop bit (serial packet)

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Introduction

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SDLC-based MIR

A data stream 0 is coded for by the presence of


an optical pulse 1/4 of the bit interval in duration
(217ns for 1.152Mbps)
The SDLC protocol, with its zero-insertion bitstuffing approach, guarantees a minimal
occurrence rate of zeroes (and therefore light
pulses) in the data stream
This also ensures
synchronization between a
transmitter and receiver
can be maintained
throughout a packet

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Introduction

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FIR - Fast Infrared

More Ethernet-like in its framing

a packet is made up of a preamble, start of frame delimiter


(SFD) and a data payload.

Utilizes 1:4 Pulse Position Modulation (PPM)

each pair of bits in the data stream are represented by a pulse


of light emitted in one of 4 available slot positions which
comprise a 4PPM symbol

PPM always requires a pulse


for each slot, so power
usage is independent of the
data

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Introduction

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IR Communication Protocols

To use IR hardware easily, we build up layers of


protocol that get us farther away from the
implementation each step.
Common Protocols:
Serial IR
IrDA

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Introduction

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Differences between Waves and Wire

Distance/$$$

Wave transmissions are much more expensive than wire

Speed

Wire is a very simple and highly controllable medium which allows for
much higher transfer rates

Limitations
IR:

Line of Sight - IR can not travel through opaque objects, so transceivers must be able to
see each other. For many commercial products they must be within 15 of each other.
Signal Power - even though we can not see IR, making the signal too strong can easily
blind us

RF:

FCC Regulation
Interference with objects and other RF waves

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Introduction

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