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Recently, the International Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) officially released the IEEE 802.11bb global optical communication standard. This is the first global standard for LiFi communication based on light, and a historic milestone in the development of LiFi technology. It will provide unified technical specifications and interfaces for the development and popularization of optical communication.
The IEEE 802.11bb standard defines the physical layer specifications and system architecture for wireless communication using light waves. This standard laid the foundation for the widespread adoption of this technology and paved the way for interoperability between LiFi systems and successful WiFi standards. The approval of this standard was completed in June 2023.
The release of this standard has been welcomed by global LiFi enterprises as it will help accelerate the promotion and adoption of data transmission technology standards. LiFi supporters, including pureLiFi, Fraunhofer HHI, and the 802.11bb working group on optical communication, emphasized the advantages of using optical communication. Because compared to traditional technologies such as WiFi and 5G, LiFi can provide "faster and more reliable wireless communication with unparalleled security LiFi, also known as Light Fidelity, is based on Visible light communication (VLC) technology, which can realize two-way, high-speed wireless network transmission. It belongs to one of optical wireless communication (OWC). Nowadays, the widely used WiFi uses wireless communication radio frequency (RF) signals, while LiFi uses visible light.
Simply put, the working principle of LiFi is to use a light source as a signal emission source (optical signal), and communicate with the terminal receiver by controlling the on-off of LED lights installed with specific chips (optical signals are translated into ordinary electrical signals). It is not new because this concept was first publicly proposed by Professor Harald Haas of the University of Edinburgh at the TED Global held in October 2011. After more than a decade of development, it has finally been identified as a wireless communication standard by IEEE.
According to public information, testing of LiFi was already underway as early as 2016, for example, PureLiFi had already been approved by the Singapore Media, Information and Communications Development Authority (IMDA) to conduct testing locally. Almost at the same time, PureLiFi launched three versions of the LiFi system, including the first LiFi dongle consisting of LiFi X and the LiFi integrated lighting equipment developed in collaboration with French lighting manufacturer Lucibel. The owner of PureLiFi was Professor Harold Haas.
Oledcom launched the MyLiFi desk lamp router that supports LiFi in 2018, while American company VLNComm also launched the LumiNex LED lighting panel that supports LiFi in the same year. In 2021, pureLiFi joined forces with the US military stationed in Europe and Africa to launch the world's first large-scale deployment of the LiFi system, KiteFin.
It is worth mentioning that pureLiFi has developed devices that meet new standards, including the recently released Light Antenna ONE. Similar to antenna chains in radio frequency (RF) systems such as WiFi, the Light Antenna ONE supports 802.11bb compliance and can be integrated with existing WiFi chipsets as another frequency band.
The person in charge of PureLiFi stated that PureLiFi is pleased to see the release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard. This is an important moment for the LiFi industry as it provides a clear framework for deploying LiFi technology globally. We are proud to play a leading role in its creation and prepare for the world's first batch of compliant devices. The existence of global standards has brought confidence to device manufacturers deploying LiFi on a large scale. This standard covers all aspects from the physical layer to the application layer, including modulation Encoding, transmission, reception, security, interoperability, etc.
It is reported that the IEEE 802.11bb global optical communication standard was developed by the IEEE 802.11 working group over the past four years. The working group is composed of experts from over 100 companies, research institutions, and government agencies from around the world. They reached a consensus through extensive discussion, testing, and evaluation, and passed the formal voting process. The working group has also developed the WiFi standard - 802.11 WiFi.
Optical communication technology has broad application prospects. It can be applied to smart home, smart city, intelligent transportation, Industrial internet of things, medical care, education, entertainment and other fields. It can also complement and collaborate with existing wireless technologies such as WiFi and cellular networks, forming a diverse wireless ecosystem.
With the release of the IEEE 802.11bb standard, LiFi technology is expected to achieve large-scale commercialization and popularization in the coming years.
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