Info
Info
News Article

LEDs And Sunlight Offer Potential For Cheap Wireless Communication

Edinburgh University technology could provide Internet for the cost of a solar-panel and an LED light

A research team at the University of Edinburgh's Li-Fi R&D Centre, led by Harald Haas, has shown how Li-Fi (wireless optical networking using LEDs for data transmission) can be used with solar cells to receive data.

Demonstrated at this year's TED Global 2015 event in London, the prototype was built in a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh's Li-Fi R&D Centre and pureLiFi Ltd, a University of Edinburgh spin-out pioneering using visible light for wireless data communication.

Visible light communication (VLC) is a new application for LEDs with the potential to dramatically increase wireless data traffic constricted by limited available RF spectrum. It works by modulating the optical output of an LED at extremely high speeds. The modulated light  can be detected by a photo-detector receiver which converts it to electrical current. 

The scope for using the technology for wireless data communication is considerable: in June this year, a team from the University of California, Santa Barbara demonstrated 4Gbps data rate at room temperature with a commercial high power 450nm GaN laser diode.

"The potential expansion to the internet is massive and my aspiration is that this broadband solar panel receiver technology for Li-Fi will help solve the challenges of the digital divide throughout the world, and catalyse the uptake of the IoT as connectivity and battery-free power supplies are essential if we want to connect a trillion objects to the internet," said Haas.

The research carried out by the Li-Fi R&D Centre focuses on the integration of power gathering and data-reception at solar panels and turning them into communication devices. In effect, solar cells within the panel become communications nodes that receive high bandwidth data whilst also providing electrical power for the nodes' operation. These self-powered nodes will remove a major barrier to data communication growth. In conventional optical wireless communications, the steady background component of the received optical signal is usually discarded, but can instead be used to directly power to the receiving terminal.

Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh, is now looking for industrial partners to work with the University's Li-Fi R&D Centre to develop the technology for commercial use.

Tom Higgison, ERI's IP Projects Manager comments: "This University of Edinburgh technology combines light based data communications, or 'Li-Fi', with energy harvesting, to create an exciting set of applications not previously anticipated including in rural broadband access, smart city networks, and the internet of things. The wider opportunity is to transform global communications by speeding up the process of bringing internet and other data communication functionality to remote and poorer regions in a way not previously thought achievable due to lack of infrastructure and investment."



AngelTech Live III: Join us on 12 April 2021!

AngelTech Live III will be broadcast on 12 April 2021, 10am BST, rebroadcast on 14 April (10am CTT) and 16 April (10am PST) and will feature online versions of the market-leading physical events: CS International and PIC International PLUS a brand new Silicon Semiconductor International Track!

Thanks to the great diversity of the semiconductor industry, we are always chasing new markets and developing a range of exciting technologies.

2021 is no different. Over the last few months interest in deep-UV LEDs has rocketed, due to its capability to disinfect and sanitise areas and combat Covid-19. We shall consider a roadmap for this device, along with technologies for boosting its output.

We shall also look at microLEDs, a display with many wonderful attributes, identifying processes for handling the mass transfer of tiny emitters that hold the key to commercialisation of this technology.

We shall also discuss electrification of transportation, underpinned by wide bandgap power electronics and supported by blue lasers that are ideal for processing copper.

Additional areas we will cover include the development of GaN ICs, to improve the reach of power electronics; the great strides that have been made with gallium oxide; and a look at new materials, such as cubic GaN and AlScN.

Having attracted 1500 delegates over the last 2 online summits, the 3rd event promises to be even bigger and better – with 3 interactive sessions over 1 day and will once again prove to be a key event across the semiconductor and photonic integrated circuits calendar.

So make sure you sign up today and discover the latest cutting edge developments across the compound semiconductor and integrated photonics value chain.

REGISTER FOR FREE

VIEW SESSIONS

Info
×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
×
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in:
 
X
Info
X
Info
{taasPodcastNotification}
Live Event