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Friday, December 01, 2017

LiFi standards group kicks off

By Nick Flaherty

The IEEE is forming a standards group to look at light communications commonly called LiFi, or an LED-based version of WiFi.

The 802.11 Light Communications Study Group will directly engage with manufacturers, operators and end users in consensus building efforts and to create a Project Authorization Request (PAR) towards developing a global wireless local area network light communications standard. This is why it is under the same group as the 802.11a,b,g,n,ac,ad and ax WiFi standards as it is likely to use the same protocols.

Early implementations use solid state lighting such as LEDs to transmit high bandwidth data as a wireless network. To address the growing demand for wireless data, and the impending spectrum crunch, the technology has notable potential as a wireless solution that offers greater bandwidth and efficiency, security, and data density, while not being subjected to or contributing to electromagnetic interference (EMI) below 3 THz.
Light communication is gaining ground  in EMI-challenged environments, such as hospitals, petrochemical plants, and airplanes, but also secure environments where RF is not sanctioned.

“In just a few short years, the interest in light communications has grown significantly and there is an enormous amount of valuable knowledge that vendors and operators can share as they work together to advance the technology globally,” said Nikola Serafimovski, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Light Communications Study Group. “It’s an exciting time for the light communications market sector, as it is poised for substantial growth over the next five years. We look forward to broad participation under the auspices of the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group and the IEEE-SA as we work to develop the light communications market in line with industry needs, and to ensure best practices that drive market expansion.”

For more information, visit the IEEE 802.11 Light Communications Study Group web page.

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