Moving to Industrie 4.0, wireless networking eliminates the challenges of complicated and sometimes impossible laying of cable in hard-to-reach areas as well as wear susceptibility issues, but in some cases, it suffers aggregate bandwidth issues.
WLAN quickly reaches its limits particularly at the level of sensors/actuators and control where communication needs between intelligent automation systems are becoming ever more time critical. Many cases require clock synchronization in communication systems with data transmission time cycles of less than one millisecond. In addition, other wireless methods such as Bluetooth applications can cause critical interference as they partially transmit over the same frequency bands resulting in multiple channel assignments and overlapping frequency usage.
Researchers from Fraunhofer IPMS note that the Li-Fi GigaDock optical data transmission they developed (based on the regulation-free spectrum of light) does not interfere with radio-based systems. The bandwidths up to 12.5 gigabits per second it can achieve are ten times faster than WLAN wireless solutions and low latencies have been proven down to under one millisecond at distances of up to 50mm.
For longer distances, the institute has developed a so-called “Li-Fi Hotspot” which simultaneously transfers data at rates of up to 100 megabits per second to several users over an area of 5 by 5 meters.
Fraunhofer IPMS driverless send/receive modules incorporate an optical transceiver and a protocol controller with a gigabit Ethernet interface and can therefore be easily combined with standard industry systems. The Dresden-based research institute offers customers evaluation kits so that they may test the benefits of Fraunhofer IPMS Li-Fi technology for a wide variety of application fields.
The Fraunhofer IPMS will present its Li-Fi-technology to the public at electronica (Stand 113 in Hall 4), with Dr. Alexander Noack giving a talk: “Li-Fi Communication for Industrial Real-Time Datalinks” in the technology Sessions.
Visit Fraunhofer IPMS at www.ipms.fraunhofer.de
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