Researchers reveal infrared Wi-Fi system capable of 40 Gbps+ speeds

By midian182 ยท 5 replies
Mar 20, 2017
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  1. With an ever-increasing number of people relying on Wi-Fi, the technology needs to improve to keep up with demand. Over in Holland, a PhD student may have come up with a solution: a wireless network that uses infrared light to transmit data at speeds in excess of 40 Gbps.

    Eindhoven University of Technology Student Joanne Oh worked on a system that uses fiber optic cables – or light antennas - to beam data to wireless devices via rays of harmless infrared light. In testing, she managed to achieve download speeds of 42.8 Gbps over a distance of around 8.5 feet, which is about 2000 times faster than the country’s average Wi-Fi speeds.

    As the system can target multiple devices at once, the network won’t get overcrowded. The light antennas are equipped with a pair of gratings that refract light at different angles. The direction of the light can be changed by adjusting the wavelength, with the network able to track each device based on its radio signal. All of which results in a faster connection and no interference.

    The infrared system works at a frequency of around 200 terahertz, about 1000 times higher than typical Wi-Fi setups, allowing for fast transmission speeds.

    There are a couple of caveats; as infrared doesn’t travel through walls, the system will require antennas in each room of a house, and so far only downloads speeds across short distances have been tested. But the system has amazing potential, is cheap, and the lack of moving parts means low power requirements.

    There have been other researchers experimenting with light-based Wi-Fi, but the speeds are low and connected devices have to share bandwidth (and you have to keep the lights on all the time).

    Oh’s work is part of the wider BROWSE project headed up by TU/e professor of broadband communication technology Ton Koonen, who expects the new technology to start hitting the stores around five years’ time.

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  2. Adhmuz

    Adhmuz TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,828   +633

    If this system is simply defeated by having an object in your devices line of sight of the router then I can hardly see this being practical in people's homes. The only place I see this system being of any use is in between buildings or as a way to distribute internet to peoples homes by way of large antennae.
    EEatGDL likes this.
  3. Technosense

    Technosense TS Member Posts: 42   +25

    Thinking the same. In rural areas microwaves are used fairly effectively, but the speeds aren't great and it's expensive. Really thought there would be a better solution available by now in the way of high speed wireless...of course, there very well may be but I think we all know what current ISPs would do to that tech if their able.
  4. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 212   +123

    This might need long term testing, because there are lots of animals and insects that can see infrared light. Perhaps it could drive them crazy. Or perhaps their brain would store all the data and they would conquer the world, destroying humanity.
    Fernando GC likes this.
  5. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,338   +1,986

    OH, they can boost the signal strength so it will work in homes ..... although the occupants might not approve of being fried in the process!
  6. EEatGDL

    EEatGDL TS Evangelist Posts: 568   +241

    LiFi all over again, ladies and gentlemen.
    andrewdoyle88 likes this.

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