Newton IrDA White Paper

This paper lists some of the specifics of the Newton IrDA subsystem, for those curious to see.


The Newton MP2000, MP2100, and eMate all have IrDA-compatible infrared transceivers that are capable of sending and receiving data at up to 115 kBaud. This is known as SIR, or "Slow Infrared". More advanced IrDA-compatible devices can also send and receive data at up to 4 MBaud. This is known as FIR, or "Fast Infrared".

Fortunately, the IrDA standard requires that any device capable of FIR also be capable of SIR. This means that new devices coming out should be able to operate with the Newton; however, the possibility exists that some new not-quite-standard device might be introduced that could only communicate with the faster FIR. The Newton would not be able to communicate with this device.

Earlier Newton devices (OMP, MP100, MP110, MP120, and MP130) are all capable of infrared beaming; but their hardware and software is aligned around the Sharp ASK protocol, which is not compatible with IrDA. For compatibility, the later Newtons (MP2000, MP2100, and eMate) can also transmit and receive over Sharp ASK, but most non-Newton devices cannot (although there are still some devices out there that use Sharp ASK, none are IrDA-compliant).

Built-in Software

The MP2000, MP2100, and eMate have sufficient system-level software support to build IrDA IrLAP (Link Access Protocol, the most basic IrDA communication protocol) and IrDA IrLMP (Link Management Protocol, built on top of IrLAP) endpoints; but there are some problems with the implementation. This is an incomplete list:

For more information

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This page was last modified on April 24, 2001.