NDC comm HWB3163 User Manual


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Copyright © Intersil Corporation 2000

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Wireless LAN Evaluation Kit User’s Guide


This kit allows evaluation of the Intersil
PRISM® II Direct Sequence chip set
design in a Wireless Local Area
Network (WLAN) PCMCIA Card

Software drivers are included allowing data to be transmitted
between cards at 1, 2, 5.5 and 11Mbps transfer rates, with a
diagnostic program to display the real data throughput from
system to system.

Included in the kit are PRISM II chip set data sheets with
application notes describing the implementation of a
wireless networking card using the chip set.

Contents of Your Evaluation Kit

Your PC Card Wireless LAN Evaluation Kit contains the
following items:

Should you discover that your PC Card Wireless LAN
Evaluation Kit is incomplete, please contact Intersil

Overview of IEEE 802.11

The IEEE 802.11 specification is a standard for wireless
connectivity for fixed, portable, and moving stations within a
local area.

The IEEE 802.11 standard describes the services required
by a compliant device to operate within an “ad hoc” or
“infrastructure” network, as well as dealing with the issues
related to mobility within those networks. Spread spectrum
techniques are used to tolerate mobility and multipath
effects. They are also a requirement for compliance with
FCC, ETSI and those of other regulatory authorities when
operating within the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM)
frequency band.

An ad hoc communications network is created quickly and
informally for a temporary time period. An infrastructure
network usually requires more planning so that wireless
stations can communicate over longer distances through
access points, and may also communicate with existing
wired LANs using portals.

The IEEE 802.11 standard describes Media Access Control
(MAC) procedures. The principal method of communication
is the Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision
Avoidance (CSMA-CA) protocol. Using this protocol, each
station senses the communications medium (RF channel),
and does not transmit until the channel is clear. This avoids
collisions and minimizes the retransmission of subsequent

The standard also supports the operation of a station within
a wireless LAN that may coexist with several overlapping
wireless LANs. To accomplish this, a scheme of
channelization and spread spectrum techniques is used.
Direct Sequence (DSSS) and Frequency Hopping (FHSS)
spread spectrum techniques are supported by the standard
and both operate in the 2.4 to 2.4835GHz frequency band
(the unlicensed ISM band). An infrared technique is also
supported for indoor applications. The standard supports a
1Mbps and 2Mbps data rate for both DSSS and FHSS and
has recently introduced a high data rate standard supporting
5.5Mbps and 11Mbps DSSS using Complementary Code
Keying (CCK) modulation.

The standard has also specified the requirements and services
that enable private and secure communications to occur.

Wireless LAN Configurations

For ease of use in evaluating these cards, an ad hoc
network for peer to peer communications can be created.
An ad hoc network is usually created for a specific purpose
(such as file transfer or accessing a database). Ad hoc
networks simplify the process of creating and dissolving
networks for nontechnical users of the network facilities.
Two cards form an IEEE 802.11 Independent Basic Service
Set (IBSS), the simplest ad hoc network. The cards
communicate with each other directly and must remain
within radio range. When both cards are on, they
immediately “see” each other and the ad hoc network is
formed without user intervention.

To use the cards in an infrastructure BSS (also called an
Extended Service Set) where the two cards may not be in direct
radio contact, access points are needed. The association
between a card (station) and an infrastructure BSS - where
communication occurs only between a station and an access
point and not between stations directly is dynamic.




PRISM II Wireless LAN PC Cards


HWB3163 Wireless LAN Evaluation Kit User’s
Guide, AN9864


PRISM II Chip Set Data Sheets


PRISM II Application Notes


Microsoft® Windows® 95/98/NT/CE/2000, LINUX®


PRISM® Test Utilities (PTU) Software


Features/Benefits Card


Product Registration Form


Notification Card

Application Note

August 2000

Author: Richard L. Abrahams