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01 March 2022

An All-Optical LiFi System comprises of an Ethernet-coupled central unit, with the modem and the selection combiner, one step-index POF each for up to eight optical frontends, the optical wireless link and a set of USB-LiFi dongles, one for each user.

Optical wireless communication, also called LiFi, is an interesting alternative for mobile communication via light. LiFi is considered as a promising technology for mobile indoor connectivity where the unlicensed optical spectrum is used. Light is better confined within a room compared to radio and safer against unauthorized access as well as jamming. It is well suited for the use in challenging environments like industrial or medical applications, due to the robustness regarding electromagnetic interferences and the absence of radio radiation.

Since the connection of the LiFi access points can also be a target of interference, Fraunhofer HHI developed an all-optical LiFi system using polymer optical fiber (POF) for networking multiple access points (APs) rather than copper wiring. The use of multiple APs improves coverage and adds spatial diversity to overcome possible blockages of the line-of-sight. Moreover, a new selection combiner is introduced, enabling the deployment of larger numbers of distributed APs with negligible performance loss. The new combiner supports up to eight LiFi access points, allowing for a coverage up to 50 m². In this area, mobile Internet access is possible via the light at Gbit/s data rates for multiple users. The modular approach allows higher flexibility for covering specialty applications, like manufacturing halls and operation theaters, with reliable high-speed wireless connectivity.

Fraunhofer HHI has more than 20 years of experience on indoor LiFi systems and provides compact LiFi modules for immediate industrial prototyping and field tests.

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