UK researchers say they have achieved data transmission speeds of 10Gbit/s via “li-fi” – wireless internet connectivity using light. The researchers used a micro-LED to transmit 3.5Gbit/s via each of the three primary colours – red, green, blue – combined that makes over 10Gbit/s.
Li-fi, or “light fidelity”, promises to be cheaper and more energy-efficient than existing wireless radio systems given the ubiquity of LED bulbs and the fact that lighting infrastructure is already in place. The tiny micro-LED bulbs, developed by the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, allow streams of light to be beamed in parallel. Using OFDM digital modulation the micro-LEDs handle millions of changes in light intensity per second.
Such a technique could one day work with existing light bulbs, promising higher speeds than current WiFi and increased security — since visible light can’t penetrate solid objects like walls, says Engadget.
Meanwhile, a Stanford startup has created a circuit and algorithm that cancels interference, allowing incoming and outgoing signals to utilize the same frequency, according to MIT’s Technology Review.
DARPA has begun development of a wireless communications link that is capable of 100 gigabits per second over a range of 200 kilometers (124mi), reports Extreme Tech. Officially dubbed “100 Gb/s RF Backbone” (or 100G for short), the program will provide the US military with networks that are around 500 times faster than its current wireless links.
How do they do it? One government report writer I talked to said GE has stumbled on a semiconductor process that enables breakthrough speed.