Saturday, November 9, 2013

UK researchers hit 10 gigabit speed using LiFi, LED based data transfer

A group of British researchers has taken the lead in the race to provide high-bandwidth network connections via the (mostly) humble light bulb. LiFi founding father Harald Haas and his team have broken the 10Gbps barrier.
Just last week, a Chinese manufacturer showed off a system they’re hoping to commercialize. It’s capable of reaching 150Mbps— not bad, but nowhere near what’s now been accomplished in the UK. Their system Haas’ team has demonstrated utilizes a trio of LEDs (red, green, and blue) which can each push 3.5Gbps.
It’s also a whole lot faster than a similar experimental setup created by researchers from Germany’s Fraunhofer Institute back in April. They managed to achieve around 1Gbps per LED, so the RGB configuration could pump out 3Gbps in total.
The increase in throughput is made possible by the University of Strathclyde’s micro-LED “bulbs.” They’re capable transmitting millions of intensity changes every second, and it’s those intensity changes that pass 0s and 1s to the Li-Fi receiver.
Haas knows there’s a long way to go before Li-Fi is ready for use in the real world. But while some think that the fact that LiFi requires a direct line-of-sight is a disadvantage over today’s wireless networks, Haas sees it as a benefit.
Li-Fi signals would be much trickier to intercept, since their range is much more limited and transmission is blocked by walls. That potential increase in security (however small) ought to be enough to get folks interested what with those bizarre malicious appliances floating around.

'LiFi' uses LEDs for blazing fast data transfer

A new technology called LiFi can transfer data using LED lights. In this video, we’ll watch a demo of a LiFi system made with off-the-shelf-parts, as it streams a vide.
Unlike traditional Wi-Fi routers, which use radio signals, this LiFi system relies on light to send and receive data wirelessly. If you notice an Ethernet cable plugged into the laptops that’s just to get the data from the receiver into the computer.
The problem with Wi-Fi is that it uses radio signals and the amount of radio spectrum is limited. LiFi, however, could be deployed in everyday LED bulbs and cover the entire interior of a home or office. The system on show ran at 150 Mbps, but with a more powerful LED light, it could reach 3.5 Gbps.
Don’t expect LiFi to be in your home or office any time soon. Researchers ay it will take another five years before the technology is ready for commercialization.

Chinese scientists achieve Internet access through lightbulbs

Successful experiments by Chinese scientists have indicated the possibility of the country's netizens getting online through signals sent by lightbulbs (LiFi), instead of WiFi.

Four computers under a one-watt LED lightbulb may connect to the Internet under the principle that light can be used as a carrier instead of traditional radio frequencies, as in WiFi, said Chi Nan, an information technology professor with Shanghai's Fudan University, on Thursday.

A lightbulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is speedier than the average broadband connection in China, said Chi, who leads a LiFi research team including scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

With LiFi cost-effective as well as efficient, netizens should be excited to view 10 sample LiFi kits that will be on display at the China International Industry Fair that will kick off on Nov. 5 in Shanghai.

The current wireless signal transmission equipment is expensive and low in efficiency, said Chi.
"As for cell phones, millions of base stations have been established around the world to strengthen the signal but most of the energy is consumed on their cooling systems," she explained. "The energy utilization rate is only 5 percent."

Compared with base stations, the number of lightbulbs that can be used is practically limitless. Meanwhile, Chinese people are replacing the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs with LED lightbulbs at a fast pace.

"Wherever there is an LED lightbulb, there is an Internet signal," said Chi. "Turn off the light and there is no signal."

However, there is still a long way to go to make LiFi a commercial success.

"If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off," said Chi.
More importantly, according to the scientist, the development of a series of key related pieces of technology, including light communication controls as well as microchip design and manufacturing, is still in an experimental period.

The term LiFi was coined by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh in the UK and refers to a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed communication solution in a similar manner as WiFi.