Miniports, Intermediate Drivers, and Protocol Drivers (Windows Embedded CE 6.0)
Windows Embedded CE supports the following three basic types of kernel-mode network drivers:
A miniport driver directly manages a network interface card (NIC) and provides an interface to higher-level drivers.
An intermediate protocol driver interfaces between upper-level protocol drivers, such as a legacy transport driver, and a miniport driver. You might develop an intermediate protocol driver to perform media translation between an existing legacy transport driver and a miniport that manages a NIC for a new medium type unknown to the transport driver.
An upper level protocol driver implements a Transport Driver Interface (TDI) or another application-specific interface at its upper-edge to provide services to users of the network. At its lower edge, this type of driver provides a protocol interface to pass packets to and receive incoming packets from the next-lower driver.