Flood spaces with high-bandwidth data from lighting LEDs

April 11, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The Heinrich Hertz Institute (HHI) in Berlin has further developed its broadband optical communications technology which utilizes standard commercial LEDs used for lighting purposes to transmit data. While hitherto data rates of up to 800 Mbit/sec have been possible, the researchers succeeded in increasing this bandwidth to 3 Gbit/sec.

According to HHI, the Berlin researchers developed new building blocks which under laboratory conditions achieve data rates of up to 1 Gbit/sec. Since however in commercial LED products - that use RGB mixing to produce white light - three light colours are generated which can be utilised separately for the data transmission, the effective data rate sums up to 3 Gbit/sec.

The technology has been introduced to the public about two years ago. At that time, the maximum bandwidth was about800 Mbit/sec.

The institute did not elaborate on the properties of the new components. It however said that the modular building blocks are suitable for integration into existing wireless data communications applications; as an example the institute named car-to-x systems. In general, environments where conventional electromagnetic wireless technologies could be unfit for safety reasons, could benefit from the technology. Examples could be hospital operating theatres, exhibition halls, manufacturing halls and similar environments.

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