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Li-Fi: Know about light-based wireless tech that is 100x faster than Wi-Fi

Li-Fi uses special LED light bulb as routers and works on optical wireless communications technology

Li-Fi

Photo: Li-Fi (Wikimedia Commons)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has formally announced 802.11bb as a standard for light-based wireless communications, or Li-Fi. This certification provides a globally recognised framework for the deployment of Li-Fi technology, said Li-Fi tech companies pureLiFi and Fraunhofer HHI. But what is it and how does it work? Let us find out:

What is Li-Fi

Li-Fi is an acronym for Light Fidelity. Li-Fi uses special LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulbs as routers and works on optical wireless communications (OWC) technology. Li-Fi devices will deliver data through visible, infrared, or ultraviolet light, unlike Wi-Fi routers, which use radio frequencies to transmit data.

Li-Fi speed

Li-Fi boasts delivering speeds of up to 224GB per second, according to lifi.co. Li-Fi's speed is said to be 100 times faster than WiGig, the fastest Wi-Fi in the 60GHz frequency band, which can achieve a maximum speed of 7GB per second. With such speed, users can potentially download close to 20 high-resolution movies in a second. Currently, developers are working to optimise mixed use of Wi-Fi and Li-Fi for homes and offices use.

Applications

Allistair Banham, the CEO of pureLiFi, sees Li-Fi as a complementary and additive solution to [radio frequency] communications.

“Functioning in the optical spectrum ensures higher reliability and lower latency and jitter,” said Dominic Schulz, lead Li-Fi developer at Frauenhofer. “It also decreases eavesdropping and jamming and facilitates centimetre-precision indoor navigation.”

If a user wants to use Li-FI, they need a Li-Fi-equipped LED bulb in the room since light cannot penetrate walls like radio waves. According to Fraunehofer, this will reduce jamming and eavesdropping risks as the transmission range is limited to the coverage area of the light. Li-Fi can benefit AR/VR and gaming, which require internet with very low latencies. Li-Fi will also help in connecting with Internet-of-Things (IoT)-based smart electrical appliances.

Availability of Li-Fi devices

Communication firm pureLifi will soon roll out its Li-Fi device called Light Antenna One, according to a PCgamer report. According to the firm, the device is a quicker and safer alternative to Wi-Fi and is nearly ready for mass production. The firm has not announced any details on the pricing of the device.

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First Published: Jul 19 2023 | 4:51 PM IST

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