In many cases, IrDA has been overshadowed by more modern technologies such as Bluetooth.

However when any developer is designing an embedded system it is important not to become a limited by recent trends. What is important is to find the most suitable design solution for the problem.

Recently Bluefruit designed a security system that involved a number of standalone units, all of which required configuration during installation. By implementing IrDA on these devices it enabled us to utilise off-the-shelf devices (such as Palm devices) as cost effective, modern user-interfaces, with little cost implications to the core product.

There are a number of easy ways to implement IrDA on a product and, as always, it is a balancing act between development costs and parts costs.

We find a happy compromise is to use a device such as the Microchip MCP2140. This device reliably implements the IrDA stack, keeping development costs considerably low.

We also have a lot of experience implementing IR remote controls for consumer devices. Typically we would implement an RC5 infra-red protocol, as this makes utilising off-the-shelf remote controls a more straightforward process.

●    MCP2140 MCP2140A MCP2155
●    IrPHY, IrLAP, IrLMP, IrCOMM, Tiny TP, IrOBEX, IrLAN and IrSimple
●    RC5