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Li-Fi TECHNOLOGY

6th July, 2024 Science and Technology

Li-Fi TECHNOLOGY

Source: Moneycontrol

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.

Context

  • Velmenni, a telecom startup, received a grant from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) under the Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) initiative.
  • Objective: To strengthen wireless communication specifically for the Indian Navy, addressing unique communication challenges in harsh environments.

Details

Advantages for the Indian Navy

  • Enhanced Data Transmission:
    • Speed: Provides high-speed connections, essential for real-time communication and data transfer.
    • Bandwidth: Offers a broader spectrum than radio frequencies, reducing congestion.
  • Security:
    • Physical Barriers: Operates using visible light, ensuring data transmission even in shielded or underground areas where radio frequency (RF) signals cannot penetrate.
    • Interference: Immune to electromagnetic interference, maintaining secure communications in electronic warfare environments.
  • Operational Efficiency:
    • Mission-Critical Operations: Enables seamless communication and coordination during critical missions, enhancing overall operational efficiency.
    • Connectivity: Ensures uninterrupted connectivity in areas where RF communication is challenging or compromised, such as underwater or in secure facilities.

Strategic Alignment with Government Initiatives

  • iDEX Programme:
    • Designed to foster innovation within India’s defense sector by incorporating advanced technologies like Li-Fi.
    • Aligns with Make in India, Startup India, and the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to stimulate homegrown technological advancements.

Light Fidelity (Li-Fi)

  • Li-Fi (Light Fidelity) is a wireless communication technology that uses light to transmit data.
  • Origin: Coined by Professor Harald Haas from the University of Edinburgh during a TED Talk in 2011.
  • Unlike Wi-Fi, which uses radio waves, Li-Fi uses visible light from LEDs to transmit data.

How Li-Fi Works

  • Basic Principle: Data is transmitted through light by modulating the intensity of the LED light bulb, which is then received by a photodetector.
  • Components:
    • LED Light Bulb: Acts as a transmitter by modulating light intensity.
    • Photodetector: Receives the modulated light and converts it back to electrical signals.
    • Processor: Decodes the electrical signals into data.
  • Data Transmission: High-speed on/off switching of LEDs at nanosecond speeds allows the transmission of data.

Advantages of Li-Fi

  • Speed: Capable of speeds up to 224 Gbps under laboratory conditions.
  • Bandwidth: Utilizes the visible light spectrum, which is 10,000 times larger than the radio spectrum.
  • Security: Light cannot penetrate walls, reducing the risk of unauthorized access.
  • Interference: No electromagnetic interference, making it suitable for environments like hospitals and airplanes.
  • Energy Efficiency: LEDs are energy-efficient and can serve dual purposes of lighting and communication.

Limitations of Li-Fi

  • Line of Sight: Requires a direct line of sight between the LED and the receiver.
  • Distance: Limited range compared to Wi-Fi due to light diffusion.
  • Infrastructure: Requires installation of LED light bulbs and photodetectors, which may be costly.

 

Applications of Li-Fi

  • Internet of Things (IoT): Facilitates communication between IoT devices.
  • Healthcare: Provides secure and interference-free data transmission in hospitals.
  • Aviation: Offers high-speed internet in airplanes without causing interference.
  • Underwater Communication: Enables data transmission underwater, where radio waves are less effective.
  • Smart Lighting: Integrates data communication with lighting infrastructure in smart cities.

Comparison of Various Wireless Communication Technologies

Feature

Wi-Fi

Li-Fi

Bluetooth

Zigbee

TransMediummission

Radio waves

Visible light (LEDs)

Radio waves

Radio waves

Frequency Range

2.4 GHz, 5 GHz

400–800 THz

2.4 GHz

2.4 GHz

Data Transfer Speed

Up to 1.3 Gbps

Up to 224 Gbps (theoretical)

Up to 3 Mbps

Up to 250 kbps

Range

Up to 100 meters

Limited to the range of light

Up to 100 meters

Up to 100 meters

Interference

Susceptible to interference

No electromagnetic interference

Susceptible to interference

Low interference

Power Consumption

Moderate to high

Low (LED-based)

Low

Very low

Security

Moderate

High (cannot penetrate walls)

Moderate

High

Infrastructure Cost

Moderate to high

High (installation of LEDs and photodetectors)

Low

Low

Applications

Internet access, IoT

IoT, Healthcare, Aviation, Underwater communication, Smart lighting

Short-range data transfer, Peripheral devices

Home automation, Smart energy, IoT

Standardization

Well-established standards

Emerging, not yet standardized

Well-established standards

Well-established standards

Energy Efficiency

Moderate to low

High (energy-efficient LEDs)

High

Very high

Line of Sight

Not required

Required

Not required

Not required

Mobility

High

Limited

High

High

Latency

Low to moderate

Low

Low

Low

Complexity

Moderate

High

Low

Low

Sources:

Moneycontrol

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q: Li-Fi has the potential to revolutionize wireless communication with its high speed and security features. Comment. (150 Words)