Photonic integration to accelerate Li-Fi

by Prof. Jean-Paul Linnartz, research Fellow, Signify / Signify Li-Fi systems

Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) is likely to become a major application driver of Integrated Photonics. For many decades, the demand for wireless connectivity has grown faster than Moore’s law, but radio technology may neither deliver adequate bit rates nor the extremely dense reuse needed to support the growing demand for HR video, accelerated by Augmented and Virtual Reality or the Internet of Things.

OWC can exploit a spectrum that is 2600 times wider than all usable radio bands. Photonic beams can deliver data at the right location, without collateral interference to other users. Beams allow very dense reuse, can use the link power budgets very effectively, thus operate energy-efficiently and enable speeds far beyond a gigabit/s and can provide added security.

Yet, today’s optical components are too bulky, are too expensive, are not ready to be integrated with typical components that are now rapidly conquering the smart phone (such as VCSEL for 3D imaging and laser scanning) or in many of the foreseen 50 Billion IoT devices, and lack functionality to actively steer high bit rate beams. So Li-Fi needs photonic integration.

Interview

What drives you?
Creating breakthrough innovations by having a fresh look into new questions, using and extending all the tools and theories that we have known from the past.

Why should the delegate attend your presentation?
Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) is likely to become a major mass-market business driver of Integrated Photonics. Optical communication links are very well suited to resolve the main challenges that 5G struggles with.

What emerging technologies/trends do you see as having the greatest potential in the short and long run?
Steerable laser beams have better performance than fibers. So our “WiFI”-replacement in the future will carry data at least as fast as optical fibers can do.

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About Signify
Signify is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and lighting for the Internet of Things. Our energy efficient lighting products, systems and services enable our customers to enjoy a superior quality of light, and make people’s lives safer and more comfortable, businesses more productive and cities more livable.

Li-Fi?
What is Li-Fi?

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