Several U.K. institutions are collaborating on the ultra-parallel visible light communications (Li-Fi) project. The researchers have used a micro light-emitting diode (LED) light bulb to transmit data at 3.5 Gbits per second via each of the three primary colors — red, green, and blue — that make up white light, which means that data transfer speeds of more than 10 Gbit/s is possible. The tiny micro-LED bulbs enable streams of light to be beamed in parallel, each multiplying the amount of data that can be transmitted at any one time.
The researchers used Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing to enable micro-LED light bulbs to handle millions of changes in light intensity per second, effectively behaving like an extremely fast switch. The technique enables large chunks of binary data to be transmitted at high speed. Li-Fi will be less expensive and more energy efficient than existing wireless radio systems because of the ubiquity of LED bulbs and the fact that lighting infrastructure is already in place.
Another advantage is that evenly spaced LED transmitters could provide much more localized and consistent Internet connectivity throughout buildings, says the University of Edinburgh's Harald Haas.
From BBC News
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