Created: Mar 05, 2017
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Infrared communication is a wireless technology that conveys data through Infrared (IR). It provides universal standard and reliable communication between two devices. The MCP2120 evaluation/development board makes Infrared Data Association (IrDA) applications easy. The board uses the MCP2120 for infrared (IR) data transfer. The MCP2120 is an infrared encoder/decoder that sits between a UART and an infrared (IR) optical transceiver. The infrared encoder/decoder supports with IrDA physical layer specification (version 1.3). It is used in standard 16550 UART and microcontroller UART.
The board has five function blocks: power, host microcontroller, MCP2120/22, optical IR transceiver and RS-232. The board can be powered via USB or the power test points (VDD and GND). When using the power test points, if JP2 is shorted, the voltage must not exceed the PIC18F65J50 voltage specification. The preprogrammed PIC18F65J50 firmware generates the MCP2122’s clock. The host microcontroller can be connected to the UART driver device (for IrDA to UART operation), for communication over the DB-9 connector or connected to the PIC18F65J50 for standalone operation. The USB interface signals are fully connected to the PIC18F65J50. So, programs can be created where the PIC18F65J50 can communicate to the USB host and to the MCP2122. This would allow the board to be used as an IrDA to USB converter. The data received from a standard UART is modulated by the encoder and output as electrical pulses to the IR transceiver. The IR Transceiver also receives data, which is demodulated by the decoder and outputs as electrical pulses.
Infrared communication has been implemented in portable devices like phones, laptops, printers, scanners, and medical devices. The main characteristics of this kind of wireless optical communication are physically securing data transfer, line-of-sight (LOS) and very low bit error rate (BER) that makes it very efficient. It offers an economical alternative to other connectivity solutions. It is safe to use in any environment and can even be used during air travel.