Light Fidelity(LiFi) Technology, Introduction, Implementation, Advantage, Disadvantage, History
The World changes day in, day out. It never settles down. Today we are using WIFI Technology. Tomorrow may be some other technology which is more reliable, more effective than WIFI.
Today we are going to talk about the technology which promises to be the future upgradation of WIFI. The name of technology is LIFI which is also called as Light Fidelity. The LIFI is totally different than WIFI. Normally people term it as Light Wifi
In WIFI we need a modem to access the internet. The modem act as a router between source to destination. While in LIFI we use LED bulb to access the internet.
Wondering how a bulb can act as a router. Here is full detail information about LIFI.
How is WiFi different from LiFi?
Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) is the most comfortable way for people to access the Internet. Utilization of these wireless communication has become such a great part of life, that we need it every day.
Alternatively, the use of WiFi has become a utility that we use in our personal and professional lives. Even if we use the technology for a regular purpose, do we know how the technology exactly works differently from LiFi?
Like our mobile phones, a Wi-Fi network makes use of radio waves to transmit information across a network. There are 1.4 million cellular radio masts deployed across the World.
These 1.4 million radio masts are the base station that provides us with necessary signals. On the other hand, the usage of these wireless signals has been increased by 5 billion and still increasing. This creates a vast problem in the supply and demand chain.
What are the problems with the usage of radio waves?
1. Capacity & Limitation: –
These 1.4 million cellular radio masts deployed worldwide, transmit more than 600TB of data every month. That is 6 with 14 zeros — a very large number. This is where the big problem arises, the concern of capacity.
The wireless data are transmitted by using electromagnetic waves – at a particular, radio signal. And, these radio waves are a limited, expensive and only channel at certain ranges.
This is a major reason, why radio waves don’t cope up with the demand of wireless data transmission and the number of bytes transmitted every month.
2. Efficiency: –
The efficiency of usage of these radio masts is too bad. These 1.4 million cellular radio masts or base stations consume a lot of energy. For an exact statistic, the majority of the energy is used to cool down these base stations. Therefore, the efficiency of these base stations is only 5%.
3. Security: –
Radio waves have the abilities to penetrate through the walls. The network can be intercepted for the wrong purpose. Also, the radio waves likely to get interfere with other radio signals. As a result, we have to switch off mobile in flights, and hospitals.
If we look at the diagram, we understand where the radio waves and the visible waves stand. The visible waves are those light waves which are the part of the electromagnetic spectrum. We already saw the issue caused by the usage of the radio waves.
On the other hand, in the middle of the spectrum, we have a visible light spectrum, which is safe to operate in. What would be if the visible spectrum could be employed for wireless communication?
Another advantage of visible spectrum over the radio wave spectrum is its size. If we compare the visible spectrum over the radio wave spectrum, the size of the visible spectrum is 10,000 times the size of the radio wave spectrum.
What do we mean by 10K times the radio wave spectrum? If we have 1.4 million base station, and if we multiply by 10,000 – the size of the visible spectrum, we get a total of 14 billion.
That is way above the demand and usage of 5 billion smartphones. 14 billion is also the number of light bulbs installed all over the World.
How can light bulbs be used for communication?
A possible way to use all the inefficient incandescent light bulbs is to replace with LED bulbs. LED is a semiconductor device, with a switching on-off ability at very high speed.
We can also see in our everyday life — TV Remote control. The infrared LED on top of remote emits a single data stream of 10,000 bits/second.
So, Harald Haas and his team developed a technology which replaces remote control of the light bulbs. By the help of this technology, instead of a single stream, thousands of multiple data stream can be transmitted at a single time and higher speed.
This technology is called SIM OFDM. This technology helps the LED bulbs to illuminate and send multiple data stream both at a single time.
What are the advantages of visible waves?
The visible waves or LED bulbs stand right up to the disadvantages of radio waves.
Visible spectrum provides 10,000 times of spectrum of the radio waves. Besides, 14 billion of LED bulbs are already installed worldwide, there no problem of infrastructure.
This is data through illumination. The data transmission works while illuminating the environment. This clearly signifies that data transmission is free and also highly energy efficient.
Light waves don’t have the ability to travel through walls. As data travel only through illumination, no chances that other person would interfere with the data.
What Do We Mean By LiFi?
We are surrounded by LED lights at Hospitals, Flight Cabins, Street Lamps, Car’s LED Headlight, Mobile LED Flashlight and much more. And all these LED lights can be a free access point.
These access points are called as LiFi, light fidelity. Now one can easily access the internet, watch YouTube video anywhere, anytime by just a source of LED lights.
How Can LiFi Be Made Possible?
LiFi can be made possible by mounting a small microchip to every potential illuminating device. This would then combine two basic functionality – illumination and wireless data transmission.
One significant question comes up in our mind. Do we have to keep the light ON all the time to keep LiFi working? The answer is yes, but one can dim the light to an access that it appears to be off. And still, can be used to access the transmitted data.