Jun 16, 2014
In order to transfer large amounts of data from one terminal device to another in next to no time and without an interfering cable, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS are working on using light as a transmission medium. Optical wireless data transmission should serve as an alternative to wired data transfer and replace established standards such as USB3.0, USB3.1, Gigabit-Ethernet or 10-Gigabit-Ethernet.
Dr. Frank Deicke, group manager for optical sensors and data transmission at the Fraunhofer IPMS, had already come up with an optical wireless communication module at the end of 2013 that allowed a data transfer rate of up to 5 gigabits per second (Gbit/s). He has now succeeded in doubling this rate. Deicke and his team developed a transceiver for optical wireless communication that is no bigger than a sugar cube and that can transfer data via infrared at up to 10 Gbit/s. Compared to familiar radio technologies such as Bluetooth or WLAN, this communication module has a much higher data throughput, an extremely low bit error rate and saves more energy (power consumption of approx. 100mW at 10Gbit/s). Mobile, battery-operated devices such as smartphones or digital cameras with only a low battery life in particular profit from this latter feature.
The transceiver will be used in both the consumer sector as well as for industrial applications – wherever large amounts of data have to be transferred as quickly as possible from one terminal device to another, for example in automation, safety and process control or medical technology.
The Fraunhofer IPMS offers various evaluation kits that give interested parties the chance to evaluate an optical wireless data transfer with data rates of up to 1 Gbit/s, 5 Gbit/s or 10 Gbit/s in their target system. What's more, the performance and size of the transceiver can be adapted to customer-specific requirements.
About Fraunhofer IPMS
The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS is a leading international research and development service provider in the fields of photonic microsystems, microsystems technology and wireless microsystems. The Dresden research institute has many years of experience in the development of components, modules and systems for optical wireless communication and offers solutions for all speed classes in the multi-gigabit range for both infrared and visible light. The Fraunhofer IPMS is a member of the Infrared Data Association (IrDA) and is in charge of the 10 Giga-IR Special Interest Group.