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Get the most out of Wi-Fi Direct, the new personal, portable Wi-Fi

Indian developers are helping leverage the new personal, portable avatar of Wi-Fi that goes with you, everywhere, anytime. We bring you a first look at the technology, courtesy Crest, the technical newsletter of iWave Systems Technologies a Bangalore- based developer who has created a number for solutions in this extension of wireless LAN networks.

Wi-Fi Direct a new wireless networking specification introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance is based on a set of software protocols that allow Wi-Fi devices to talk and connect to each other with or without a Wi-Fi network or hotspot available. Wi-Fi Direct combines the advantages of Wi-Fi Ad-hoc connection and Blue Tooth connection.Wi-Fi Direct can provide low power secure communications over fairly long distances for industrial communications, surveillance equipment, logistics & freight management, medical patient monitoring and remote diagnostics.
The key features of Wi-Fi Direct are:
Connecting easy: Wi-Fi Direct devices discover one another and in some cases the services available. Also establishing the connection can be as simple as pressing a button.
Connections are protected by WPA2 security: Wi-Fi Direct connections will work at typical Wi-Fi ranges protected by WPA security (with AES or TKIP Encryption) protocols and including WMM QoS mechanisms. It supports WPS and WPA2 by default which many older products using the old broken WEP encryption don’t.
Wi-Fi Direct and Ad-hoc: The ad-hoc networks allow devices to exchange data with each other without an access point but implementations almost universally offer poor security and degraded throughput. The new method Wi-Fi Direct is a wholesale replacement of the weak ad-hoc networking mode which is a part of 802.11 but never built into a standardized part of Wi-Fi nor put through a testing and certification program like infrastructure mode has. This can make it difficult or impossible to use the mode between computers running different OS or even different wireless networking hardware. Wi-Fi Direct can also handle quick peer-to-peer sharing as needed. That’s the kind of thing the 802.11 ad-Hoc mode has done for years but never with much ease because Wi-Fi Direct will include mechanisms for advertising service availability without connecting as for example you can’t connect wireless printers through ad-hoc mode while using Wi-Fi Direct you can. One advantage of the new method is that it can preserve the full bandwidth of 802.11 and overtake incompatibility issues that ad-hoc would suffer.

Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth : It is said that “Wi-Fi Direct Could Be the Death of Bluetooth”, as Bluetooth 2.1 reaches a speed of 3 Mbps and Bluetooth 3.0 a speed of 24 Mbps, Wi-Fi Direct can reach 250 Mbps per second with 802.11n networks which means Wi-Fi Direct will be 80 times faster than the common Bluetooth
Mobility & Portability: Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices connect anytime, anywhere. Users have the ability to create direct connections with the very first Wi-Fi Direct-certified device they bring home. For example, a new laptop certified for Wi-Fi Direct can create direct connections with the existing legacy Wi-Fi devices in the user’s home. Wi-Fi Direct devices have features that allow users to identify available devices and services before establishing a connection.
Backward compatibility: Wi-Fi Direct is also designed with backward compatibility in mind, even an old 802.11b radio could support it. Interoperability between Wi-Fi Direct devices and legacy devices is a key element of the specification. Even non-upgraded devices can join a Wi-Fi Direct network.

iWave Wi-Fi Direct expertise includes Wi-Fi Direct support for the iMX51 CPU Platform (iW-Rainbow-G8D board). iMX53 CPU Platform (iW-Rainbow-G11D board) support is under development. We currently support Wi-Fi Direct with features like WPS, WPA/WPA2 Authentication, AES /TKIP Encryption. iWave can provide Wi-Fi Direct Linux source code and support for building WLAN driver. We also support Wi-Fi Direct driver in Vx works, ITRON, Android and other operating systems.

A dedicated team at iWave, for Wi-Fi Direct research and development is poised to introduce many more solutions that will help OEMs and product developers leverage this exciting new extension to Wireless networking, providing users a single-technology solution to transfer content and share applications quickly and easily among wired and wireless devices - Dhanya J.R.
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