RF Wireless Interfaces

802.11 Wireless LAN Description

Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) specifications.
The 802.11 family define a Wireless Local Area Network [WLAN] using the Ethernet protocol, using Carrier Sense, Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA_CA).
The 802.11 wireless LAN standards provide a number of channels within each frequency band, and a number of data rates. The highest data rate is listed below. The 802.11 standard also specified infrared [IR], but I think the IrDA standard was more widely used.
Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum [FHSS], or direct sequence Spread Spectrum [DSSS] are specified. 802.11 specifies a LAN with a minimum of two stations.
Some of the standards listed below are obsolete, based on their data rates, and or method of transmission.

802.11a [Wi-Fi] transmit at a frequency of 5 GHz with data rates of 54 Mbps using Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing [OFDM]. The 802.11a standard is an out-dated means of transmission.

802.11b [Wi-Fi] transmit at a frequency of 2.4 GHz with data rates up to 11 Mbps using direct sequence spread spectrum modulation [DSSS] and Complementary Code Keying modulation [CCK]. IEEE802.11b was released in 1999. Four data rates are possible; 1, 2, 5.5, and 11Mbps [bits-per-second] on up to 3 non-overlapping channels between the frequencies of 2.4Ghz and 2.497GHz.

The 802.11b standard was rendered obsolete with the introduction of IEEE802.11g in 2003. There are very few Wireless-B products offered any longer due to fact that Wireless-g equipment operates at a much higher speed and over a greater distance [at the higher speeds].
The 802.11b standard is an out-dated means of transmission, being much slower than the 'g' standard.

802.11g transmit at a frequency of 2.4 GHz with data rates of 54Mbps {OFDM, DSSS]. IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g are compatible, devices can coexist in the same network. However data rates operate at the slower devices rate, not the new communication rate offered by the 'g' standard.

802.11h transmit at a frequency of 5GHz with data rates of 100Mbps. IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g are compatible so devices can coexist in the same network

802.11n transmit at a frequency of 2.4GHz or 5 GHz with data rates of 600Mbps. IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g are compatible, devices can coexist in the same network.

802.15 [ZigBee] transmit at a frequency of 915MHz, or 2.4GHz.

Wibree is still an un-approved wireless standard, comparable to Bluetooth. Wibree operates in the 2.4GHz ISM band, at bit rate of 1Mbps out to 10 meters.

ZigBee transmit at a frequency of 915MHz, or 2.4GHz.

Z-Wave is a low-power, short-distance wireless standard that uses the 2.4GHz band which is part of the ISM [Industrial, Scientific, and Medical] license-free radio bands. Z-Wave transmits at a frequency of 915MHz [908MHz], the same bands as ZigBee, which is a similar, and competing wireless standard.
Additional frequencies of the ISM band include the 900MHz band, and the 5.8GHz band. The european version operates in the 860MHz band.
Z-Wave modulation may be FSK, GFSK, Narrowband and operates out to about 100 feet in free space.
The Z-Wave Specification may be down loaded from the Z-Wave Alliance. and is not part of the 802.11 series of standards, but listed here for reference.
The only IC or device manufacturer to date is Zensys, which developed the specification.

The 2.4GHz band is part of the ISM [Industrial, Scientific, and Medical] license-free radio bands [see below]. Both 802.11 and Bluetooth operate with in the band. Additional frequencies of the ISM band include the 900MHz band, and 5.8GHz band


WiMAX Forum

802.15 Wireless PAN Description

The 802.15 family define a Wireless Personal Area Network [WPAN] for portable and mobile computing devices.

802.16 Broadband Wireless Access Description

The 802.16 family define a line-of-sight 10GHz to 66GHz metropolitan-sized network, with data rates of 120Mbps. IEEE 802: Air Interface for Fixed Broadband Wireless Access Systems. 802.16a defines a non-line-of-site network to support a local mesh architecture. 802.16d [WiMAX] cover distances of up to 30 miles being used as the wireless backhaul. 802.16e specifies mobile air interfaces for wireless broadband in the licensed bands ranging from 2 to 6 GHz.
The European Union has allocated WiMAX spectrum frequencies of 3.4- to 3.6-GHz. The U.S has assigned the 2.5- to 2.7-GHz range, in addition to the 3.65- to 3.7-GHz range. In Korea, WiBro uses a 2.3- to 2.4-GHz bandwidth, and China has assigned the 3.3- to 3.4-GHz band to the technology.

Companies which manufacture Wireless ICs are listed on the RF Components page

For reference the IEEE 802.xx Family of standards are listed below:
IEEE 802.1 Higher layer LAN protocols
IEEE 802.2 Logical link control
IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, listed on its own page.
IEEE 802.4 Token bus
IEEE 802.5 Token Ring, used FDDI, listed on its own page.
IEEE 802.6 metropolitan area networks
IEEE 802.7 broadband
IEEE 802.8 fiber optic
IEEE 802.9 isochronous LAN
IEEE 802.10 Security
IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN [ISO/IEC 8802-11]
IEEE 802.12 demand priority
IEEE 802.13 (not used)
IEEE 802.14 Cable modems (No longer active), standards for data transport over traditional cable TV networks.
IEEE 802.15 Wireless PAN [Personal Area Networks]
IEEE 802.16 Broadband wireless access
IEEE 802.17 Resilient packet ring
IEEE 802.20 Mobile Broadband Wireless Access
Not all standards may be listed.

Bluetooth Description

Bluetooth is listed on the Bluetooth page

Infrared Communications Description

listed on the IrDA page

ISM Bands, [Industrial, Scientific, and Medical], license-free radio bands
6780 kHz ±15.0 kHz
13560 kHz ±17.0 kHz
27120 kHz ±163.0 kHz
40.68 MHz ±20.0 kHz
915 MHz ±13.0 MHz
2450 MHz ±50.0 MHz
5800 MHz ±75.0 MHz
24.125 GHz ±125.0 MHz
61.25 GHz ±250.0 MHz
122.5 GHz ±500.0 MHz
245 GHz ±1.0 GHz
These frequency bands are specified to have low power transmitters.
Low power means short range, so units will not interfere with each other.

Chart of US Frequency Allocations *.pdf {NTIA}

Wireless Definitions:
BWA: Broadband wireless access
CBA: Commercial Building Automation
HA: Home Automation
HVAC: Heating Ventilation and Air Condition
IPM: Industrial Plant Monitoring
LOS: Line-of-Sight
NLOS: Non-Line-of-Sight
WEP: Wired equivalent Privacy
WPA: Wi-Fi Protected Access

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Modified 3/05/12
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