Li-Fi wireless networks
The Dresden Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS has developed optical communications modules, designed to expand or replace existing company data networks. Increasingly more companies are looking to expand or completely replace wired local area networks (LANs) with wireless data networks. However, currently available wireless (WIFI) solutions are susceptible to interference, and the data transmission is less stable and slower, particularly when multiple users must share a common radio cell. More importantly, WIFI networks are also vulnerable. Hackers can spy on passwords and login information from wireless transmission packets.
The optical wireless communication developed at Fraunhofer IPMS is quite different. Fraunhofer Development Leader Dr. Alexander Noack explains, „Our solution uses light in the infrared range as a wireless transmission medium. While physical obstacles such as thick walls only weaken radio signal performance allowing attackers to gain sensitive company data via a receiver within range of the radio signal, our Li-Fi network provides security against hacking attacks even in closed rooms.“
Not only is the Fraunhofer IPMS communications technology safer than radio transmission techniques, it also needs only 15 percent of the energy required by conventional wireless technologies per transmitted user data byte. In addition, it is up to 10 times faster thanks to a data rate of 1 Gigabit per second at insignificant bit error rates (<10-9). It is therefore particularly suitable for all applications where large amounts of data must be transmitted in real time.
The Fraunhofer IPMS team was able to eliminate a common weak spot in Li-Fi technology. Dr. Noack: „Until now, it was not possible for several users to operate in the same spot due to inter-module interferences within the same link. Our technology now allows for point-to-multi-point communication. We can, for example, integrate meeting rooms into a corporate network to provide multiple notebooks simultaneous access.“ Fraunhofer IPMS will present a Li-Fi HotSpot as a prototype for optical wireless communication for distances up to 10 meters at the embedded world trade show in Nuremberg, Germany.