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Fraunhofer HHI introduces USB Li-Fi modules offering 1 Gbit/s

12 Feb 2020

To be presented at Optical Fiber Communication Conference 2020 in San Diego, CA, from 8–12 March.

The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin, Germany, (HHI) was first to succeed in developing a USB-operated "Li-Fi" system with low power consumption, achieving the highest data rate transmission for a mobile LiFi end device of up to 1 Gbit/s.

Li-Fi technology enables fast, optical mobile communication for indoor areas. In a Li-Fi transmission, the unlicensed optical spectrum is used for wireless data transmission. In contrast to radio, light can be controlled and restricted to certain rooms, thus protecting the data with a high degree of security, says HHI, against unauthorised access and external interference.

USB Li-Fi available

HHI says it is developing Li-Fi systems "with a focus on application in target environments such as backhaul, industry as well as for conferences and classrooms." The institute has more than 20 years of experience in the field of LiFi and is now offering its compact USB LiFi modules for pilot installations, field tests and licensing also for industrial product development.

An ongoing goal in development is to create a terminal device that is as compact as possible for the mobile use on notebooks. The third generation development team, led by Jonas Hilt and Peter Hellwig, has succeeded in presenting a particularly light and compact module.

The HHI scientists commented in the launch statement, "The main challenge during this development was the low output provided by a USB interface on a mobile device such as a laptop. Despite this, it is important to achieve the highest possible data rate. An average power consumption of only 3W has now been used to demonstrate a scenario in which a ceiling lamp provides several users on their notebooks with fast network access. Thereby peak data rates of up to 1 Gbit/s have been achieved.

"The user thus receives an extremely powerful LiFi module with a compact form factor. With this development the suitability of LiFi technology for everyday use could be demonstrated up to the successful CE marking."

The HHI's new LiFi systems have already been tested under real conditions in a classroom at the Hegel-Gymnasium in Stuttgart at the end of 2019. They will be presented to the public at the fothcoming Optical Fiber Communication Conference 2020 in San Diego, CA, US (8–12 March).

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