A single 1W LED bulb could be sufficient to provide internet access for up to four computers at once, if we are to believe the Chinese researchers. Xinhua News reports that researchers have successfully tested their Li-Fi (light-fidelity) at speeds up to 150Mbps – and while everything is in the “test phase”
, there is a solid dose of skepticism involved from other experts in the field.
Specifically, many note that there is no video or photographic evidence of this claim, so they are very reluctant to provide comments until more is known. Li-Fi term was coined in 2011 by the professor Harald Haas, an expert in the field of optical wireless communications. He demoed an LED bulb which had an integrated signal processing technology – and he used it to stream HD video to a computer.
Xinhua News informs that Chi Nan, an information technology professor with Shanghai's Fudan University is leading a research team that includes experts from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Chi says that what they have managed to achieve is faster than the average broadband connection in China, adding that the current wireless equipment is expensive and inefficient. "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."
Curiously enough, ten sample Li-Fi kits will be shown during the China International Industry Fair that starts on November 5. Of course, such internet connectivity may be cheap(er) and with an enormous potential in terms of capacity when compared to the traditional radio waves, but there are a number of technical issues which need to be resolved for the Li-Fi to become a commercial success. "Wherever there is an LED lightbulb, there is an Internet signal,"
said Chi. "Turn off the light and there is no signal (…) If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off."
Chances are that the VLC tech will serve and complement the existing wireless networks before adoption reaches areas outside of the industry applications. Worth noting is that the Li-Fi Consortium has been established in October 2011 (by Fraunhofer IPMS, IBSENtelecom, Supereme Architecture and TriLumina), and aside from the promoting of optical wireless communications, it will try to coordinate the efforts related to standardization, which could be incredibly valuable in the future.Source: Xinhua News
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