Wireless & Internet Tech

Wifi? Make Way for Li-fi

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UK-based researchers at the Ultra-Parallel Visible Light Communications (UP-VLC) project announce a breakthrough in visible light communications (VLC), reaching data transfer speeds of 10Gbps with a system using tiny micro-LEDs.

micro LED VLCThe researchers hail from the universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews, Strathclyde, Oxford and Cambridge.

Reportedly the system transmits 3.5Gbps through each of the 3 primary colours (red, green, blue) making up white light, this increasing the amount of data the light can "carry." This makes the the basis of what the researchers call light fidelity or "li-fi," a potential low-cost alternative to radio-based wireless internet.

"If you think of a shower head separating water out into parallel streams, that's how we can make light behave," Prof Harald Haas tells the BBC.

Allowing the micro-LEDs to handle millions of light intensity changes per second is Orthogonal Frequency Divisional Multiplexing (OFDM), a dgital modulation technique making what amounts to an extremely fast on/off switch.

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Wifi Goes Under the Sea

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Underwater networking should move beyond cables researchers at the University of Buffalo propose as they start testing their first wireless internet modems designed for underwater use. 

underwater modem Of course these are not any regular modems-- the oversized (18kg) bright yellow devices use high-pitched chrips, not radio, to push what amounts to an aquatic version of the TCP/IP networking protocol. Their use? Bringing the Internet of Things to watery realms. 

The use of acoustic signals is crucial, since while radio works poorly underwater sound waves penetrate water better with superior range.  

“A submerged wireless network will give us an unprecedented ability to collect and analyze data from our oceans in real time," lead researcher Tommaso Melodia says. “Making this information available to anyone with a smartphone or computer, especially when a tsunami or other type of disaster occurs, could help save lives.”

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Wireless Network Reaches 100Gbps Record

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Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics (IAF) and the Karlsruhe Instute of Technology (KIT) manage a world first-- wireless data transmission at 100Gbps.

wifi testingThe wifi tests use 237.5GHz signals over a distance of 20m in laboratory conditions. However the super-high frequencies involved demand clear line of sight between devices at all times.

“At a data rate of 100Gbps, it would be possible to transmit the contents of a Blu-ray disk or of 5 DVDs between 2 devices by radio within 2 seconds only,” researcher Prof. Ingmar Kallfass says.

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IEEE Kicks Off High Efficiency WLAN Group

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IEEE creates the IEEE 802.11 High Efficiency WLAN (HEW) study group, with the aim to enhance the efficiency and performance of current WLAN deployments-- creating a new wifi standard in the process.

wifiThe study group will consider use cases including dense network environments with large numbers of access points and stations.

Expressing interest in the future HEW project are over 300 individuals from equipment and silicon vendors, service providers, carriers, systems integrators, consultant organisations and academic institutions from over 20 countries. The IEEE 802.11 HEW study group meets up during IEE 802.11 WLAN working group meetings.

Better known as "wifi," the IEEE 802.11 standard underpins wireless networking around the world, and remains relevant with the emergence of applications such as smart grid, wireless docking and the so called "internet of things."

Go IEEE 802.11 High Efficiency WLAN Study Group Created

Wifi Design on the Cloud

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Xirrus releases a free cloud-based design tool for the creation of wireless networks-- Xirrus Wifi Designer-Cloud, a self-service application for the placement access points and arrays. 

Xirrus designerThe Wifi Designer-Cloud models the wireless coverage of Xirrus APs and arrays together with the characteristics of the deployment location (including wall construction materials) to create an optimised deisgn. 

"Rather than conducting an active survey using physical equipment and manpower-– which can be expensive and cumbersome-– network planners can simply use our cloud based tool to design and dimension a Xirrus wireless network," Xirrus says. "Wifi Designer-Cloud provides time and cost savings in determining project scope and the bill of materials (BOM)."

As a Software-as-a-Service (Saas) offering Xirris Wifi Designer-Cloud requires no installation or maintenance, and is available now via the link below. 

Go Xirrus Wifi Designer-Cloud