HHI Advances Visible-Light Communication

April 10, 2013

The R&D facility has developed technology that makes it possible to use standard off-the-shelf LED room lights for data transmission, achieving throughputs as high as 800 Mbps on the optical WLAN in the laboratory.

BERLIN /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- In visible-light communication, the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) has set a further milestone on the way to high-speed Internet from the ceiling lamp. Development of novel components for data transmission over LEDs means that significantly higher bandwidth can now be used in real-time, with data throughput rates of up to 3 Gbps being reached in laboratory experiments. The new components will be presented at FOE 2013.

The technology developed by HHI makes it possible to use standard off-the-shelf LED room lights for data transmission. Data rates of up to 800 Mbps were reached by this optical WLAN under laboratory conditions, while a complete real-time system exhibited at trade fairs reached data throughput of 500 Mbps. The newly developed patent-protected components have now achieved a transmission rate in laboratory experiments of over 1 Gbps per single light frequency. As off-the-shelf LEDs mainly use three light frequencies or light colors, speeds of up to 3 Gbps are feasible.

Thus far LEDs could only be used with a bandwidth of around 30 MHz, yet the new technical components enable exploitation of a much higher bandwidth of up to 180 MHz. As the higher frequency bands are also used for transmission, this significantly boosts data throughput. Development of the components as modules makes them suitable for customized integration in technology developments such as Car-to-X communication. But visible-light communication also has a broad array of other possible applications, ranging from areas like hospital operating theatres where safety is at a premium to places like trade shows and factory halls, where radio communication is problematic. This new development represents a major step forward toward optical high-speed WLAN.

For more information, see: www.hhi.fraunhofer.de/vlc.

About the Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute
The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute is a world leader in the development of mobile and fixed broadband communication networks and multimedia systems. From photonic components and systems to fiber optic sensors and high-speed hardware architectures, the Heinrich Hertz Institute works together with its international partners from research and industry on building the infrastructure for the future Gigabit Society. Fraunhofer HHI is your competent partner for 3D TV, 3D displays, HDTV, gesture-controlled man-machine interaction, image processing and transmission, and use of interactive media.

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