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New advances in Li-Fi

​A smart Li-Fi orchestrator was presented at CES 2020. It automatically detects any interference between lamps and optimizes the data transmission rates for each device on the network.

Published on 20 February 2020

​Li-Fi uses the light emitted by LED lamps to transmit data. The lamps are switched on and off very rapidly to convert the data into optical signals. While the wireless communication technology, which has been around for a decade, does appear to be a good alternative to Wi-Fi for some uses, one major hurdle must be overcome, and that is how to manage interference between the different lamps on the network. Leti, a CEA Tech institute, presented a clever demonstrator system at CES that effectively removes this hurdle.

Leti researchers developed a Li-Fi orchestrator that ensures that two neighboring lamps never emit a signal at the same time. The lamps "take turns" emitting to avoid interference while maximizing data transmission speeds. Time slots are allocated dynamically using software installed on each lamp. One lamp manages the entire system at any given time.

The demonstrator system presented at CES in January was made up of three access points and three tablets on a rotating table. Visitors were able to actually see the effects of the software on user connection speeds (up to 150 Mbit/s over distances up to three meters) in areas with interference. This excellent level of performance should help put this promising technology on the path to commercialization!

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