Researchers from the CEA-Leti Institute set a bandwidth record for LiFi communications using just one blue micrometer-sized GaN LED. Thereby, the previous record for bandwidth at the level of 5.1 Gbit / s was broken and a new one was set – at around 7.7 Gbit / s.
Communication LiFi (light fidelity) promises to become a “secure WiFi” in rooms and on vehicles. Data on LiFi networks is transmitted in the visible light range, which eliminates or makes it extremely difficult to intercept information outside the premises where this network is deployed. LiFi will also help deploy high-speed wireless networks where electromagnetic radiation can harm sophisticated electronic equipment – in hospitals, in the workplace, or on board an airplane.
The uniqueness of the experiment at CEA-Leti lies in the fact that for the first time, high-speed communication was carried out using a single blue LED of gallium nitride with dimensions of 10 μm. This promises high integration of LiFi transceivers and decent energy efficiency, although a matrix of similar LEDs will be required to transmit data over medium and long distances.
“This technology has tremendous potential for mass market applications.”Says Benoit Miscopein, CEA-Leti Research Fellow. Multi-LED systems could replace WiFi, but widespread adoption will require a standardization process to enable interoperability between systems from different manufacturers. To encourage the industry to implement this standard, the LiFi Alliance was created in 2019 ”.
The bandwidth of a single LED with a size of 10 μm is 1.8 GHz. In order to save this strip for each microLED in an array of thousands of micro-LEDs, hybrid solutions will be required, namely, the integration of the light-emitting matrix with control drivers, where each pixel will be controlled by logic with minimal delays. Drivers cannot be placed far from the LiFi light-emitting matrix, otherwise the transmission speed will drop sharply. But such a hybrid system will provide multiple secure access to the “light” network, but much more remains to be done along this path.
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