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Chinese Researchers Transmit 150 Mb/s Over Li-Fi

By - Source: BBC | B 33 comments
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Li-Fi is in sight!

There have been some rumors recently about the upcoming technology known as light fidelity, otherwise known as Li-Fi. It appears to have reached a new milestone in the research phase -- a transfer speed of 150 Mb/s in practical applications. Earlier this year, a German research team managed to reach speeds of about 1 Gb/s, however, this was in a lab environment and probably not replicable in practical applications.

Li-Fi is a wireless technology based not on radio waves but as the name indicates, on light. Supposedly, a single 1 W LED bulb is enough for about 150 Mb/s of data, which should be able to network about four PCs. The technology also goes by the term VLC (Visible Light Communications). Of course, unsurprisingly and unlike Wi-Fi, a direct line of sight is required between the sender and receiver. From a security point of view, using light as a communications method has many benefits. That said, Mom and Dad will always be able to tell when you're on the Internet late at night.

So far, the research team has not provided any videos or other proof of the technology. However, we expect that to change November 5, 2013 when the team is hoping to reveal the technology at the China International Industry Fair.

On another note, NASA has just announced that it has managed to reach transfer speeds of 622 MB/s, using lasers, to and from the moon -- a distance of over 239,000 miles!

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    deftonian , October 27, 2013 8:16 PM
    I'm holding out for PiFi... because I like pie.
  • 14 Hide
    tanjali , October 27, 2013 7:19 PM
    So someone is still on a Moon?
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    sean1357 , October 27, 2013 7:14 PM
    They use FPGA chip in wifi protocol transfer with that speed. I don't know that TI DSP can handle with that speed or not?
  • 14 Hide
    tanjali , October 27, 2013 7:19 PM
    So someone is still on a Moon?
  • -7 Hide
    Tonylu1595 , October 27, 2013 7:31 PM
    So now your telling me that i have to replace everything in my house that uses wi-fi to li-fi? Thanks for the warning...
  • 6 Hide
    xiinc37 , October 27, 2013 7:55 PM
    I quite like the sound of this. LiFis greatest weakness sounds to me like it's greatest strength: the whole line-of-sight thing. WiFi as it is now is horrendously overcrowded, there are 53 different access point within range of my home, all sharing the same 11 channels, if one or more of my neighbors decides to watch netflix, guess what? - no more internet for you (basically I get kicked off and/or have virtually non existant transfer speeds). This is only on 2.4ghz mind you, 5ghz is virtually empty - but for how long? With line of sight, LiFi will have some hurdles to overcome, but, within ones own home, overcrowding shouldn't ever be a problem.
  • 4 Hide
    Pinhedd , October 27, 2013 7:59 PM
    Quote:
    They use FPGA chip in wifi protocol transfer with that speed. I don't know that TI DSP can handle with that speed or not?


    Anything that can be done on an FPGA can be done more efficiently as an ASIC. FPGAs are simply used to prototype logic (subject to the FPGA's own limitations) as it can be reconfigured simply by recompiling the design. This is useful for working out bugs before sending the design off for fabrication.
  • 5 Hide
    sykozis , October 27, 2013 8:11 PM
    The problem with LiFi is exactly that. The use of light. Since it has line of sight restrictions, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible to use in most locations.
  • 19 Hide
    deftonian , October 27, 2013 8:16 PM
    I'm holding out for PiFi... because I like pie.
  • 2 Hide
    Parsian , October 27, 2013 8:18 PM
    The material response time/scattering are the key challenges when it comes to laser transmission. I am far more impressed with NASA whopping 622 MB/s than the earthling 1 Gb/s...
  • 0 Hide
    RichoOssavitor , October 27, 2013 9:02 PM
    So. Now we now need to utilize this with a fusion reactor as the EMI from a nuclear fusion reaction would mess with conventional hard wired or radio based data transfer. Then place this fusion reactor on the Tibetan plateau and power the Eurasian continent for the next 50 years.
  • 1 Hide
    bin1127 , October 27, 2013 9:45 PM
    Is it pronounced Lye-Fi? I'll just called it Leafy.
  • 6 Hide
    MasterMace , October 27, 2013 10:01 PM
    so it's slower and less practical than wifi.
  • 2 Hide
    Murissokah , October 27, 2013 11:23 PM
    Quote:
    So someone is still on a Moon?


    Probably streaming some porn.
  • 1 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 27, 2013 11:37 PM
    would you like fri-ri with your li-fi?
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , October 28, 2013 1:03 AM
    The best application of this is you can use the LED's use in LiFi as room lighting same time.

    The fast blinking of the data carrier frequency is well beyond human perception.
  • 0 Hide
    phalanxes , October 28, 2013 1:16 AM
    So what happen when someone is standing between your device and the router? Your Netflix suddenly turn to photobucket?
    Well, we will need a lot of mirror in our house...
  • 1 Hide
    Philip Schilling , October 28, 2013 2:48 AM
    If only there were some sort of flexible, transparent, fiber cable that we could use to channel the light between the communicating devices...
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , October 28, 2013 5:39 AM
    Quote:
    I'm holding out for PiFi... because I like pie.


    Mmmmmm, this pumpkin pie is full of so much delicious information!

    ... How much pie to I need to eat to learn kung fu?
  • 1 Hide
    CaedenV , October 28, 2013 5:50 AM
    Quote:
    I quite like the sound of this. LiFis greatest weakness sounds to me like it's greatest strength: the whole line-of-sight thing. WiFi as it is now is horrendously overcrowded, there are 53 different access point within range of my home, all sharing the same 11 channels, if one or more of my neighbors decides to watch netflix, guess what? - no more internet for you (basically I get kicked off and/or have virtually non existant transfer speeds). This is only on 2.4ghz mind you, 5ghz is virtually empty - but for how long? With line of sight, LiFi will have some hurdles to overcome, but, within ones own home, overcrowding shouldn't ever be a problem.


    Not as many hurdles as you might think. There was a neat TED Talk (last year I think?) about using LED house lights as a transmitter of data throughout a home. The variation in light is so fast and subtle that you would never pick it up with your eyes, and it can operate at such low light that it can still work while in practical darkness.

    The thought would be to get your router, plug an Ethernet port into some sort of power-line modulator, and then use special light-bulbs that have the capability to both send and receive signal. Or perhaps make a hybrid system where wifi is used for upstream communication and lifi is use for downstream communication which would make the light bulbs substantially cheaper, and get around the bulk of the traffic which congests apartment complexes.

    Anywho, I still think wired networking is the way to go whenever possible. Wireless communication should be reserved for low bandwidth portable devices.
  • 0 Hide
    hang-the-9 , October 28, 2013 5:57 AM
    This tech will be useless for most applications aside from theoretical, same as using infrared for printing and data communications. It will be put into devices, no-one will use it. Only good thing is having your laptop and TV in communication if they can work out a way to send HDMI data using this. Line of sight limits this too much, at least the bandwidth is usable unlike what the infrared stuff was.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , October 28, 2013 7:27 AM
    This uses LED room lighting so it would be using MIMO of course so there would be multiple data paths. You don't always have to point your remote directly at your device to make it work. For sure this is meant not replace WIFi or Bluetooth or anything else, unless they can figure out how to modulate sun/moonlight or streetlights.
    Imagine the potential of any 'digital' light source carrying data - Car Lights, Store Signage, Traffic Lights - Not necessarily internet but application specific data.
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