My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Why pureLiFi Solar Powered Li-Fi is coming to Apple iPhone with 5G Internet by 2020

Friday, December 11, 2015

Why pureLiFi Solar Powered Li-Fi is coming to Apple iPhone with 5G Internet by 2020

“The wider opportunity is to transform global communications by speeding up the process of bringing Internet and other data communication functionality to remote and poorer regions in a way not previously thought achievable due to lack of infrastructure and investment”

Edinburgh Research & Innovation’s IP Project Manager, Tom Higgison, speaking on the developement of Li-Fi by pureLiFi Ltd.

Folks what faster than Wi-Fi and has more bandwidth. Li-Fi, Wireless Internet based on Light that what.

Best of all, there is now a working prototype developed by Professor Harald Haas in collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s Li-FI R&D Centre as reported in the article “The inventor of light-based ‘Li-Fi’ Internet has completed the first working prototype”, published November 13, 2015 By Chloe Olewitz, DigitalTrends.

To get an idea of how revolutionary an idea Li-Fi is, watch this TED Talk Video in Scotland by Professor Harald Haas back in 2011 that explains the concept of Li-Fi more clearly.

The company they've jointly formed, called pureLiFi Ltd, has taken their own sweet time to develope a Li-Fi Router to transmit and receive Data in much the same way that Wi-Fi works currently.

This concept of Li-Fi was very similar to the research being done by EPSRC and University of Strathclyde as reported in my blog article entitled “EPSRC and University of Strathclyde researches FLORA based Li-Fi for developement in the next four years”.

So what exactly is Li-Fi and what are the advantages of this new Technology?

pureLiFi Ltd and the Li-Fi Revolution – 10 Gigabit speeds using unlicensed optical bandwidth

Li-Fi is basically Wi-Fi transmission using optical frequencies. It involves the use of LED (Light Emitting Diodes) as spoken of by Professor Harold Haas in his TED Talk. However the LED Lamp used in his demonstration is modified to also include a photo receiver for bi-directional transmission of Data.

This concept of Li-Fi has several advantages over Wi-Fi, mainly in terms of increased bandwidth:

1.      Use of Visible Light Spectrum for Communication to ease congestion in the Microwave Band
2.      Quench the demand for VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) Bands for Broadband by using Optical Spectrum with its higher bandwidths
3.      Spectrum license free, as it would be difficult to license Visible Light, the same Visible Light Spectrum used by Human eyes
4.      Denser packing of the LED with a thousand (1000) occupying the same space as a single 2mm sized LED, akin to the packing of LED used in LCD TV’s
5.      Faster switching rates also in the order of a thousand (1000) times that of a 2 mm LED, thus enable separate channelized Communications using different light Spectrum

The Li-Fi would have many LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are densely packed and pulsing rapidly on an off to transmit data using PCM (Pulse Coded Modulation). This means you could have three (3) different transmission modes or configurations of the Li-Fi Router and the Li-Fi Receiver:

1.      Frequency Diversity
2.      Coding Diversity
3.      Space Diversity

These different modes of transmissions means that you can have multiple PCM channels transmitting data simultaneously from one light source to multiple receiver and they'd not interfere.

Frequency diversity is where Li-Fi receivers used to receive the data and read the data bytes from the light could be coded to either different frequencies of light from Red to Violet as well as in potentially in the Infrared, Ultravoilet and even Gamma Ray and Cosmic Ray spectrum for commercial and Military applications.

Coding diversity is where they could also use the same spectrum of light but with different coding for each LED. Finally, Space Diversity would be a situation where the Li-Fi Router or receiver is set at different physical locations but transmitting to different individual Li-Fi Receivers.

All of these three transmission modes make it possible to possible to transmitting at speeds of 10 gigabits per second using what is effectively free unlicensed bandwidth. It would still have the same limitations like a regular Router but with blazing speeds.

As Professor Harold Haas points out, LI-FI can potentially be used to replace cellular base stations as it is more efficient way to transmit wireless data. This is not only in terms of spectral efficiency but also in terms of power consumption, as such as Li-Fi Base station would have to be solar powered.

Smartphones, Tablets and even HDTV could be modified with Li-Fi Routers to enable the streaming of gigabits of Data to these devices as demonstrated by Philips Intelligent Lighting System in my blog article entitled “Philips Intelligent Lighting System delivers Li-Fi Network Personalized LBS Coupons using LED Lighting”.

But what interesting is that the Li-Fi router will fit into the aesthetics of your home as it can be made to replace the LED Light bulbs in your home. Thus, your Li-Fi router will look like a light bulb and will transmit data once your device has LOS (Line of sight) to the light bulb.

pureLiFi Ltd Solar Powered Li-Fi - Why LiFi is coming with 5G Internet by 2020

pureLiFi Ltd Li-Fi prototype is based on using Solar Power to power the router. This is necessary as to process data at Gigabit speeds would require a super fast processor that would use up a lot of power and get very hot very fast.

The high switching frequencies, rated in the nanoseconds at which LI-Fi operates means that the transmission of data would be unnoticed by the persons in the room.  Most conventional LEDS cars capable of switching on and off at such high frequencies.

This makes it possible to even use regular LED bulbs such as the US$10 10W GE Bright Stik as the transmitter of Li-Fi Data as reported in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “US$10 10W GE Bright Stik is the cheapest 60 W Replacement LED Bulb”. 

Higher frequencies means a higher level of bit errors if there is noise in the Power sources. Thus there is a need for a stable and ripple-free power source i.e. solar to power such as a router.

Because of its High Data rates, it would also potentially be very compatible with 5G Internet when it comes by 2020 as predicted in my blog article entitled “ITU publishes 5G IMT-2020 Roadmap – Why US Telecom Providers, @Digicel_Jamaica and @LIMEJamaica like to travel off the beaten Path”.

It's also more secure, being as the data can be used one of or even all three different transmission modes or configurations to make it difficult for a hacker to hack such a transmission system. Not only that, the mere fact that Li-Fi is LOS means that for your pesky neighbor hop onto your bandwidth, they'd have to be in the same room as you are and also have your login and password with a compatible Li-Fi Router to access your Data Stream.

Hacking individual Data form Li-Fi router to device is also difficult, as with higher bandwidth comes potentially larger, stronger 512 bit and 1024 bit encryption schemas will be developed that  can make it difficult for hackers to hack into your data stream. Additionally, for military applications, the use of Ultravoilet and Infrared spectrum can also be explored instead of using visible light.

Li-Fi has a bright future as it will most likely find uses in the expansion of IoT (Internet of Things) devices in the future in the home, in industry as well as in Mobile devices. If the pureLIFI Ltd standard is adopted by the Telecom Provider, expect 10 GBps data Li-Fi to be coming to the Apple iPhone before 2020 around the same time as the launch of 5G Internet.

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