Industry 4.0 has already found its way into many companies. In the »intelligent factories« of tomorrow, processes should be fully automated and production and logistics should be increasingly computerized. This will require more and more sensors, machines and control units communicating with each other, leading to the transfer of large amounts of data. Demand is high for a replacement of today's standard industry systems where wire-bound data transfer still prevails.
Li-Fi offers a high, globally uniform, license-free bandwidth range making it predestined for all applications in which large amounts of data is to be transmitted in quasi real time from one end device to another without bulky and bothersome cable. Fraunhofer researchers from Dresden have taken advantage of this situation and developed an optical wireless communications technology currently able to transfer data at rates of up to 12.5 Gbit per second. And that's not all, explains Fraunhofer IPMS Business Unit Manager of Wireless Microsystems Dr. Frank Deicke, »We are still at the very beginning. Li-Fi technology has an enormous potential to become the data transmission of the future. We want to reach data rates of up to 40 Gbits per second soon. This is highly interesting primarily to industrial customers.«
Fraunhofer IPMS Li-Fi communications modules can be easily integrated into standard industry systems. Especially for movable and moving system components they offer higher reliability and more safety than wear-prone and expensive specialty cables. More benefits of the Li-Fi technology include low power consumption as well as data security and network capability.
At the OFC, the largest global conference and exhibition on optical communication, representatives from Fraunhofer IPMS will introduce Li-Fi communications modules which will replace wear-susceptible wired fieldbus systems and high frequency plug-and-socket connections in the future. In addition, researchers will present the prototype of a Li-Fi Hotspot for optical wireless communications at distances of up to 30 meters.
Visitors to OFC 2016 being held from March 22-24, 2016 in Anaheim, California can find the Fraunhofer IPMS exhibition at booth 2562.