Microscopic leds to spur Li-Fi revolution?

1 min read

Five leading UK universities have embarked on a four year project to help unleash the full potential of Li-Fi – the transmission of internet communications using visible light rather than radio waves.

Although the potential possibilities offered by Li-Fi are already being explored all over the world, the EPSRC funded consortium, led by the University of Strathclyde, is pursuing a new approach. Rather than developing Li-Fi leds around 1mm2 in size, the UK team is developing micron sized leds that are able to flicker on and off 1000 times quicker than their larger counterparts, allowing then to transmit data much more quickly. Ultimately, this means that a 1mm2 sized array of micron sized leds could communicate a million times as much information as one 1mm2 led. In addition, each led could also act as a tiny pixel, so one large led array display could be used as a screen displaying information at exactly the same time as providing internet communications and the overall room lighting. Professor Martin Dawson of the University of Strathclyde, who is leading the initiative, said: "Imagine an led array beside a motorway helping to light the road, displaying the latest traffic updates and transmitting internet information wirelessly to passengers' laptops, netbooks and smartphones. "This is the kind of extraordinary, energy saving parallelism that we believe our pioneering technology could deliver."