Infrared transceiver hardware

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Has anyone built their own IRDA transceiver hardware for the XMEGA series? I have been using Vishay modules with good results, but they are expensive and include all the en/decoding stuff that the XMEGA already has built in.

It looks like we are basically just looking at an IR LED and phototransistor/photodiode. Anyone tried it? What sort of speeds and range could you manage?