Distributed coordination function (DCF) is a mandatory technique used to prevent collisions in IEEE 802.11-based WLAN standard (Wi-Fi). It is a medium access control (MAC) sublayer technique used in areas where carrier-sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA) is used.
Using DCF technique, a station needs to sense the status of the wireless channel before it can place its request to transmit a frame. The time interval that a station should wait before it sends its request frame is known as DCF Interframe Spacing (DIFS).
The technique is shown in the following diagram −