LiFi - UP VLC - Ultra Parallel Visible Light Communications

Li-Fi, if you've not hear of it, is the idea of using the conventional light bulb to transmit IP traffic. The beauty of this idea is that every household, office space, industrial warehouse, well basically any building has lighting infrastructure is already in place. By using a modified light bulb, that turns on and off so fast, that it is not perceivable to the human eye, 1's and 0's can be transmitted at rates faster than conventional RF frequencies. As the light spectrum is not congested like the RF spectrums we use for data transmission, it opens up the possibilities for a new way we communicate in the interior space.

While Chinese scientists have developed a 1W bulb that can transmit at 150Mbps, a £4.6 fund research project which incorporates 5 Universities in the UK headed by Professor M.D. Dawson of the University of Strathclyde and mentored by Professor P. Blood of Cardiff University, have developed a technique called Ultra-parallel visible light communications (UP-VLC), which can transmit at 10Gbps!

The research team managed to split the transmission over 3 streams, one for each LED colour type, with 3.5Gbps per stream. All of this is controlled by a CMOS chip to handle the tuning of the light patterns, intensity and modulations.

The above pic shows the colour emission patterns generated by the LED/CMOS smart display. The project is running from October 2012 to September 2016, so there's still a long way to go before we see any commercially viable products to buy from the local store, but does indicate an exciting new prospect for high bandwidth communications that could replace conventional RF transmission.

Source UP-VLC