High speed infra-red spec gets go ahead

High speed infra-red spec gets go ahead
Steve Bush A high speed Infra-red comms specification has been approved by the Infra-Red Data Association (IrDA). Very Fast Infra-Red (VFIr) will allow manufacturers of portable data appliances and computer peripherals to implement 16Mbit/s data links. IrDA started life at 115kbit/s. Data transfer at the higher speed was demonstrated in Paris using prototype hardware. IrDA is the de-facto standard for infra-red communications so approval of the specification gives the go-ahead to develop 16Mbit/s products with little fear of later interoperability problems. Other demonstrations in Paris included use of the ‘object exchange session layer’ which was approved last October. This provides a framework for devices running different operating systems to interact. Among the devices actually shown to work together were a Psion PDA and Palm Computing palmtop. The other significant specification to be discussed and demonstrated in Paris was AIr, Advanced Infra-red, which will be the basis of multi-user short range networks. Applications suggested include instant networks for business meetings. AIr could develop simple, and therefore cheaper, alternatives to forthcoming Bluetooth short-range radio networks.


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