Fraunhofer optical Li-Fi module reaches 10 Gbps data communication rate

Researchers at Fraunhofer IPMS are using free-space optical (FSO) wireless data transmission as an alternative to other wireless communication standards such as USB3.0, USB3.1, Gigabit-Ethernet, or 10-Gigabit-Ethernet.

A free-space optical wireless data transmission module from Fraunhofer IPMS can achieve data transmission rates of 10 Gbps. (Image credit: Fraunhofer IPMS)
A free-space optical wireless data transmission module from Fraunhofer IPMS can achieve data transmission rates of 10 Gbps. (Image credit: Fraunhofer IPMS)

IMAGE: A free-space optical wireless data transmission module from Fraunhofer IPMS can achieve data transmission rates of 10 Gbps. (Image credit: Fraunhofer IPMS)

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (Fraunhofer IPMS; Dresden, Germany) are using free-space optical (FSO) wireless data transmission as an alternative to wired data transfer and are able to replace established communication standards such as USB3.0, USB3.1, Gigabit-Ethernet, or 10-Gigabit-Ethernet.

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Frank Deicke, group manager for optical sensors and data transmission at Fraunhofer IPMS, developed an optical wireless communication module at the end of 2013 that allowed a data transfer rate of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbit/s or Gbps). He has now succeeded in doubling this rate.

Deicke and his team developed a transceiver for optical wireless communication that is no bigger than a sugar cube and can transfer data via infrared at up to 10 Gbps. Compared to familiar radio technologies such as Bluetooth or WLAN, this communication module has a much higher data throughput, an extremely low bit error rate and saves more energy (power consumption of approximately 100 mW at 10 Gbit/s). Mobile, battery-operated devices such as smartphones or digital cameras with only a low battery life in particular profit from this latter feature.

The transceiver will be used in both the consumer sector as well as for industrial applications--wherever large amounts of data have to be transferred as quickly as possible from one terminal device to another, for example in automation, safety, and process control or medical technology.

The Fraunhofer IPMS offers various evaluation kits that give interested parties the chance to evaluate an optical wireless data transfer with data rates of up to 1 Gbit/s, 5 Gbit/s or 10 Gbit/s in their target system. What's more, the performance and size of the transceiver can be adapted to customer-specific requirements.

SOURCE: Fraunhofer IPMS; http://www.ipms.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/press/2014/2014-06-16.html

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