What is infrared communication?

Why is infrared communication now in demand?
Wired, wireless, optical and other communication methods are used for separate purposes in communication, and each utilizes its respective advantages.
What , then, are the characteristics of infrared communication as one of these communication methods?

Advantages of using infrared communication technologies

  • Advantage 1:Security
    In the modern world, a huge amount of information is exchanged and the confidentiality of information must be emphasized when communication takes place. Infrared communication has high directionality and can identify the person with whom you are communicating, which is different from wireless communication in which information diffuses, allowing for high confidentiality to be maintained.
  • Advantage 2:Effect on the human body
    Many are concerned about using IR in cars or in a place with many people. However, when used in remote controls for TVs, infrared communication has no harmful effect on the human body. It is therefore not necessary to worry about using IR in crowded places. You can therefore be worry free about using IR in crowded places.
  • Advantage 3:Data communication speed
    Compared with the wireless communication with a maximum speed of about 100 Mbps, the infrared communication has a potential of 1 Gbps. It also has a much shorter wavelength than wireless communication, which is easily enough for broadband communication. It is optimal for when large-volume data such as video must be sent at a high speed.

Communication systems, speed, and data volume

The IrDA infrared communication system has various communication speeds depending on the communication system which defines the IrDA physical layer.

Communication system Communication speed
Bit/Sec (bps)
(Byte/Sec)
Character information
5,000 letters
10k Bytes
Image information
2M pixel
500k Bytes
Music information
Mp3 3:30
3.5M Bytes
SIR system 115k bps
(10kByte/Sec)
1 sec 48 sec 318 sec
MIR system 1M bps
(125kByte/Sec)
0.08 sec 4 sec 28 sec
FIR system (IrSimple system) 4M bps
(500kByte/Sec)
0.02 sec 1 sec 7 sec
VFIR system 16M bps
(2.0MByte/Sec)
0.005 sec 0.25 sec 1.75 sec
UFIR system 100M bps
(12M Byte/Sec)
0.0001 sec 0.04 sec 0.3 sec

What is IrSimple?

IrSimple (IrSC) is a high-speed infrared wireless communication system jointly developed by NTT DOCOMO, INC., Sharp Corporation, Waseda University, and E-Globaledge Corporation.
To emphasize the compatibility, IrSimple does not make radical changes in the present IrDA system. Instead, it expands the system to maximize and optimize the potential of the existing hardware, which can improve the actual communication speed.

  • Optimizes procedures for device detection and connection & disconnection.
  • Optimizes data transfer.
  • Expands unidirectional procedures.
  • Allows coexistence of the conventional IrDA communication and the IrSimple high-speed communication.


Protocol configuration of IrSimple high-speed communication

Transfer of 500 kByte image

The Existing IrDA Method Optimization Device Discovery/Connection Procedure Optimization, Date Transfer Optimization, Expansion of Uni-Directional Mode Procedure, Enabling the coexistence in the existing method and the IrSC method

Two IrSimple modes

1.Secures reliability through the bidirectional mode.:Achieves high speed by optimizing the transfer system while keeping reliability equivalent to that of the conventional IrDA communication.
 2.Simplifies protocols through the unidirectional mode.:Enables unidirectional communication while achieving a high-speed transfer system.

  • * IrSimple™ is a registered trademark of the Infrared Data Association.