Li-Fi: scientists achieve 10Gbps internet speeds with LEDs

UK-based scientists have made an impressive breakthrough using an emerging technology, coined “œLi-Fi“. They wanted to develop a means of “œvisual light communication“ ““ a way to transfer data over the internet using light ““ completely wirelessly. The initial results from the joint venture between the universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Strathclyde, Oxford, and Cambridge have been promising, with data speed transfers of over 10 gigabits per second.
The technology uses LED lights that blink on and off to communicate in binary. The researchers used red, green, and blue micro-LEDs “” the colours that make up white light “” simultaneously, increasing the amount of information being transferred.
The application of the technology is still being questioned, as it needs a constant line of communication to work indefinitely. That said, it doesn‘t necessarily need to use line of sight, as the light can change direction off reflective surfaces. This still poses a problem, however, as the nothing can move between the output of the signal and the receiver. The connection also can’t penetrate through walls, which would seem to limit its applicability. However, scientists say this limitation could actually be a benefit for security, since wide-ranging Wi-Fi connections can be vulnerable to hackers.
Another disadvantage of traditional Wi-Fi routers is distance ““ meaning the signal weakens the further you are away from it, leading to inconsistent connectivity within offices and homes. According to Prof. Herald Haas, a leading scientist on the project, Li-fi promises to be cheaper and more energy-efficient than existing wireless radio systems given the ubiquity of LED bulbs and the fact that lighting infrastructure is already in place.
Source: BBC