Abstract communications image

IrDA (Infrared Data Association) is a well established protocol for transferring data over short distances (less than 1 metre) using an optical rather than Radio Frequency (RF) link, providing a point-to-point line-of-sight communication which is difficult to intercept. IrDA is a multi-layered protocol which specifies the physical characteristics (data rate, wavelength, modulation etc), the data link characteristics (device discovery, establishing connections etc), link managements and top level behaviours. Amongst other uses IrDA links can be configured to act as serial or parallel ports, or to connect to Local Area Networks. IrDA links used to be a common feature on laptops and PDAs but have now been largely superseded in consumer devices by Bluetooth and WiFi which do not require direct line of sight.