According to China team of researchers at Fudan University, the project regulated Internet signals to a 1watt LED lamp. When displayed to light from this lamp, four computers were able to access the Internet through the LI-FI technology.
Successful experiments by Chinese scientists have indicated the possibility of the country’s netizens getting online through signals sent by lightbulbs (LiFi), instead of WiFi.
Four computers under a one-watt LED lightbulb may connect to the Internet under the principle that light can be used as a carrier instead of traditional radio frequencies, as in WiFi, said Chi Nan, an information technology professor with Shanghai’s Fudan University, on Thursday.
A lightbulb with engrafted microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is faster than the average broadband connection in China, said Chi, who leads a LiFi research team including scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
With LiFi cost-effective as well as effective, netizens should be excited to view 10 sample LiFi kits that will be on display at the China International Industry Fair that will kick off on November 5 in Shanghai.
The current wireless signal transmission equipment is costly and low in efficiency, said Chi Nan.
“As for cell phones, millions of base stations have been established around the world to strengthen the signal but most of the energy is exhausted on their cooling systems,” she explained. “The energy usage rate is only 5 percent.”
Compared with base stations, the number of lightbulbs that can be used is practically limitless. Meanwhile, Chinese people are replacing the old-fashioned candent bulbs with LED lightbulbs at a fast pace.
“Wherever there is an LED lightbulb, there is an Internet signal,” said Chi. “Turn off the light and there is no signal.”
However, there is still a long way to go to make LiFi a commercial success.
“If the light is blocked, then the signal will be cut off,” said Chi.
More significantly, according to the team, the development of a series of key related pieces of technology, including light communication controls as well as microchip design and manufacturing, is still in an data-based period.
The term LiFi was struck by Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh in the UK and refers to a type of visible light communication technology that delivers a networked, mobile, high-speed communication solution in a similar manner as WiFi.