Researchers develop 100Gbps light-based wireless network2015-02-16 10:13 by Daniela
Tags: Li-Fi, Wi-Fi
Researchers at Oxford University are working on a wireless technology that utilizes light, amplifies it, and beams it across the air achieving speed of more than 100 gigabits per second (Gbps).
Unlike fiber networks where light is also used, this technology would overcome data losses along the way. It reffers to the term "Li-Fi", which uses the light that is already illuminating a room to send data signals. It is expected to be a much faster alternative to WiFi, which currently achieves maximum speeds of 7Gbps.
In order to demonstrate the new technology, the researchers have developed a system that uses a base station installed on the ceiling of a room to send and receive light signals from a computer. The transmitter and receiver use an array of liquid crystals to create a programmable diffraction grating that reflects the light in the desired direction. In order to work properly, the system requires a direct line of sight. It works at distances of up to three metres.
There is one great disadvantage, though. Currently, the receiver and transmitter must be in known locations, making it unusable for mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops which would highly benefit from a faster wireless network. The researchers are reportedly trying to solve the problem by building a tracking system which would allow the transmitter to locate a receiver device within a room without prior knowledge of its location.
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