New EU consortium ELIoT develops mass-market applications for LiFi - Internet by Light

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  • 22/08/2019
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The future IoT will put much higher demands on data rates, reliability and latency of wireless connections. If many future IoT devices communicate in a small space, the need for transmission frequencies will increase much faster than previously thought. With LiFi, ELIoT introduces a new, networked wireless communication technology that works in the previously unused spectrum of light, in addition to WiFi and mobile radio.

LiFi allows many applications for commercial, industrial or outdoor applications. It could be used successfully in environments where radio frequencies can not or should not be used. For outdoor use, it could enable high-bandwidth, direct-from-roof to roof-to-roof connections, between street lights or to consumers' homes in the next-generation network. Higher demands on wireless networks are likely to be due to software-controlled production (Industry 4.0), virtual and augmented reality, and autonomous driving. Also for LiFi could be used.

ELIoT started in 2019 as part of the EU's largest research and innovation program, Horizon 2020. This program is designed to deliver groundbreaking results by bringing good ideas from the lab to market. ELIoT receives EUR 6 million in funding from the public-private partnership "Photonics21". Partners include Signify (formerly Philips Lighting), Nokia, MaxLinear, Deutsche Telekom, KPN, Weidmüller, LightBee, Oxford University, Eindhoven University of Technology and the two Fraunhofer Institutes Heinrich Hertz Institute HHI and FOKUS. Other companies will soon follow as associated partners.

"With ELIoT, we have established an extremely efficient consortium of companies and organizations in the European lighting and communications industries. ELIoT is building a closed value chain with partners working with research facilities on components, chipsets, systems, and applications to make LiFi technology commercially viable for the IoT of the future, "says Project Coordinator Dr. Ing. Volker Jungnickel (Fraunhofer HHI).

Prof. Jean-Paul Linnartz, co-initiator of ELIoT and head of LiFi research at Signify, highlights the potential of ELIoT: "LiFi offers interference-free high-speed, high-reliability communication. The available bandwidth can be fully reused in each room. The lighting infrastructure provides a great way to wirelessly network the rapidly growing number of devices. "