What is 'Li-Fi', the next generation standard that allows faster communication than Wi-Fi?

' Li-Fi ' is a next-generation wireless communication technology that is different from 'Wi-Fi,' which is an essential technology for using the Internet.

IEEE Spectrum , a magazine published by IEEE , which formulates Wi-Fi standards, summarizes what kind of wireless communication technology Li-Fi is.

Why Li-Fi Might be Better than Wi-Fi - IEEE Spectrum

Wi-Fi is a standard that realizes data communication using radio waves, but 'Li-Fi', the next generation wireless communication technology developed by Scotland's pureLiFi , uses light waves instead of radio waves to send and receive data. . In July 2023, IEEE approved ' IEEE802.11bb ' as the Li-Fi standard.

IEEE802.11bb defines rules for how Li-Fi enabled devices communicate with each other and data transfer speeds. According to IEEE, IEEE802.11bb allows data transmission and reception at speeds of 10Mbps to 9.6Gbps. IEEE802.11bb enables fast and reliable wireless communications, and ``will revolutionize Internet communications,'' writes IEEE Spectrum.

Li-Fi is a wireless communication technology that uses light. Since light does not pass through walls, Li-Fi can be confined within a space. Therefore, there is no danger of a man-in-the-middle attack being launched from outside the room. pureLiFi also explains that Li-Fi is an extremely secure wireless communication technology than Wi-Fi, as Li-Fi is planned to provide military-grade security by default.

In addition, existing wireless communication technologies that use radio frequencies have several pitfalls, such as radio wave interference,

congestion , and deterioration when used by multiple people. This is the reason why you cannot experience the performance as advertised (communication speed as written on the package) when using wireless communication. On the other hand, Li-Fi can provide a completely consistent and reliable connection, enabling high-bandwidth wireless communication without suffering from interference, congestion, or degradation when used by multiple users.

Li-Fi utilizes special luminaires with small control units, solid-state emitters and photosensitive receivers. The device uses light waves to send and receive data, and connecting to Li-Fi will require an emitter and sensor to send light signals to smartphones, tablets, and other devices. In addition, emitters and sensors are already used in high-end smartphones for facial recognition functions and

LiDAR laser distance measurement systems.

A typical Li-Fi setup involves connecting to the Internet via a local area network (LAN). LANs offer new wireless access opportunities through Li-Fi-enabled access points installed on ceilings or inside desk lamps and connected via Power over Ethernet (PoE) or powerline communications. Li-Fi access points enable two-way communication with battery-powered devices, providing a seamless and robust wireless experience.

There are various wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and ZigBee , but all of them use radio waves, which causes problems with interference. In contrast, Li-Fi uses light, so there is less competition.

One of the key factors driving the adoption of Li-Fi is its ability to achieve peak rates by encoding data into light waves using the same advanced modulation techniques as Wi-Fi. Li-Fi seems to use a multi-carrier modulation technology called orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM).

Volker Jungnickel, a researcher at the Fraunhofer HHI Institute who is a member of the working group that develops the IEEE 802.11 standard and played an important role in promoting IEEE 802.11bb, explains the advantages of Li-Fi. It explains the shortcomings.

According to Jungnickel, 'Li-Fi enables wireless communication at data transfer rates of up to 100 Mbps per square meter, making it ideal for use in densely populated areas, such as conference rooms and classrooms. A radio wave-based wireless communication technology. Another feature of Li-Fi is that it does not interfere with other devices.Also, since Li-Fi has the characteristic of being interrupted at physical boundaries, it is difficult to intercept communications, so it is also excellent in terms of security.''

On the other hand, the disadvantage of Li-Fi is that it has a relatively narrow range, usually limited to within a single room (within a few meters).In other words, it requires multiple access points to cover a wide area. In addition, the available bandwidth may be limited by the capabilities of the light sources and detectors.Also, the deployment of Li-Fi infrastructure is less efficient compared to Wi-Fi. It is likely that this will result in higher costs.'

Mr. Jungnickel points out that the IEEE's formulation of Li-Fi standards may accelerate the worldwide adoption of Li-Fi. Collaboration between governments, key market players, and research institutions is essential for new technologies to take off. Government funding for research projects and pilot initiatives can stimulate pre-competitive technology development and market establishment. On the other hand, competition between companies can be a hurdle for small businesses, but it is possible to overcome these challenges by cooperating at the pre-competitive stage to create a profitable market. In particular, standardization helps overcome proprietary technologies and enables interoperability. This allows users to purchase products from different vendors that are integrated into the same network, reducing the risk of investing in new technology for both customers and vendors.

In addition, IEEE Spectrum expects that Li-Fi will be integrated into everyday devices such as televisions and smartphones in the future.

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