Identifying a shortage of licensed frequencies in existing radio frequency (RF) wireless networks, it's attempting to address what it describes as a 'spectrum crunch', from ever increasing demand for data delivered over the mobile Internet. The answer? 'Li-Fi' - an optical Wi-Fi system
New optical networked devices and systems from its Oxford Optical Wireless Communications Group, it says, make use of this abundant spectrum in optical networks. Specifically, it is highlighting a two-stage optical concentrator.
Performance in optical wireless systems is fundamentally limited by the receiver and the optical 'antenna' that collects light. The Oxford invention is a two-stage optical concentrator, capable of overcoming this limit by using wavelength conversion in the receiving arrangement, to give many order of magnitude increases in performance over conventional approaches. This novel approach is useable within mobile devices and laptops and has the potential for mass production.
Data rates of Gbits/s are apparently achievable using these techniques.
The Group's development, with industry, of optical devices and systems is enabling hybrid networks to form future wireless infrastructures consisting of many cooperating systems. These infrastructures provide seamless ultra-high bandwidth connectivity for the user. RF networks (Wi-Fi) and optical wireless networks (Visible Light Comms -VLC) working in cooperation are able to provide continuous coverage.
A PCT patent application has been filed with 38 claims, says the university.