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Li-Fi breakthrough as data transmitted via LED bulbs over record distance

Harald Haas, Professor at the University of Edinburgh and Chief Science Officer (CSO) and co-founder of pureLiFi, and his team have made another breakthrough in Li-Fi by demonstrating that up to 1.1 gigabit per second (Gbps) can now be transmitted using light waves from micro LEDs over a distance of 10 metres using less than 0.5W power. This is only 5% of the power of a typical 10W LED light bulb. This proves the point that lights can be dimmed down while high data rates and coverage are maintained. Moreover, the distance at which 1 Gbps can be achieved with a single colour LED is 10 times larger than what has been reported previously.

Li-1st, the world's first commercial Li-Fi product (Photo: Business Wire)

Li-1st, the world's first commercial Li-Fi product (Photo: Business Wire)

The work was undertaken as part of the EPSRC funded Ultra Parallel-Visible Light Communications (UP-VLC) programme grant, in collaboration with partners from the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford.

The latest discovery follows the successful demonstration by pureLiFi of the world’s first commercial Li-Fi product, Li-1st, during March at MWC 2014 and CeBIT 2014. pureLiFi added a second production run of the Li-1st during March to meet the high demand from industry customers worldwide. This new production run is being shipped this month.

Professor Harald Haas, CSO and co-founder of pureLiFi, said:

“Li-Fi is revolutionising wireless communications and showing that Li-Fi can be the enabler of the emerging Internet of Everything. By transmitting data at speeds above 1 Gbps and record distances of 10 metres at a fraction of the power of typical LED bulbs, we continue to make the technological leaps and bounds that make Li-Fi a technology that could transform the way we use the internet in the near future.”

About pureLiFi and the Li-Fi industry

1. Visible Light Communication (VLC) is the use of light to transmit data wirelessly. Li-Fi - a term coined by pureLiFi’s CSO, Professor Haas – is a technology based on VLC that provides full networking capabilities similar to Wi-Fi, but with significantly greater spatial reuse of bandwidth. pureLiFi is at the forefront of research and commercialisation into Li-Fi, an industry expected to grow to over $6 billion by 2018.

2. pureLiFi (formerly known as pureVLC) is a light communications technology company formed in 2012 as a spin-out from the University of Edinburgh to create OEM components, including Li-Fi drivers and receivers.

3. The Li-1st is the world’s first commercially available high-speed, bidirectional optical wireless system that can operate with a range of commercially available LED luminaries. It provides an IP-enabled ceiling unit and a desktop device that can be connected via USB to client devices.

4. EPSRC is the main UK government agency for funding research and training in engineering and the physical sciences, investing more than £800 million a year in a broad range of subjects including information technology and structural engineering.

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