IrDA Fast Infrared Port

The IrDA Fast Infrared Port component defines a protocol suite transfers data between two devices over a short-range, point-to-point infrared link at speeds between 9.6 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 16 megabits per second (Mbps).

Infrared (IR) hardware is included in many portable devices, such as notebook computers, personal digital assistants, cameras, and cellular phones. Users can easily add IR hardware to a desktop computer by attaching an IR adapter to a serial or USB port, or by adding a card and an IR adapter. The simplicity, proven interoperability, and low cost of IR hardware are key factors in its widespread acceptance.

IR is an effective non-cable solution. It is nearly impossible to mismatch connectors and wiring with IR. Speed and configuration parameters are transparently negotiated at connect time and a common set is used for the connection. IR at 16 Mbps is compatible with IR at 9.6 Kbps. Additionally, the IR connector is completely sealed, inexpensive, and available from multiple vendors.

IR and WinSock provide a common user API. The combination of IR and WinSock presents the application programmer with a powerful yet simple Win32 API that exposes multiple, error-free data streams. Serial and parallel ports are the only other point-to-point technologies that have a commonly-available user space API. IR defines rich functionality that does not exist with serial and parallel cables, and it borrows from the very successful client/server connection and programming model defined by the TCP/IP family of protocols and the WinSock APIs.

IR's open protocols support non-Windows devices. WinSock exposes the IR tiny transport protocol (TinyTP) protocol to the application writer. A non-Windows device that implements the TinyTP protocol can easily exchange data with Windows applications.

IR is uniquely suited for adhoc point-to-point networking because the core IR services are similar to those exposed by the popular TCP protocol. Applications running on two computers can easily open multiple reliable connections to send and receive data. As with TCP, client applications connect to a server application by specifying a device address, such as a TCP host, and an application address, such as a TCP port. Thus, the combination of IR and WinSock supports easy-to-use, zero configuration, adhoc point-to-point networking.


There are no services associated with this component.

Associated Components

No other components interact with this component.


There are no configurable settings for this component.


The following table shows the user profiles that IR implementation in Windows XP supports.

User profileDescription
Printing (IrLPT protocol)Enables printing directly from IR devices to IR printers.
File transfer (IrOBEX protocol)Enables easy file transfer between IR devices.
Image transfer (IrTran-P protocol)Enables point-and-shoot one-step image transfer between digital cameras and Windows devices.
Dial-up networking (IrCOMM protocol)Enables dial-up Internet access through IR-enabled cellular phones.
Local area network (LAN) access and peer-to-peer networking (IrNET protocol)Enables network access through IR access points or through a direct network connection between two Windows devices.

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