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EETE MAY 2014

Li-Fi reaches 1Gbps: lighting the path to a new internet model By Paul Buckley Harald Haas and his team are claiming another breakthrough in Li-Fi technology by demonstrating that up to 1.1 Gbps can be transmitted using light waves from micro LEDs over a distance of 10 metres using less than 0.5 W power. Haas is a Professor at the University of Edinburgh and Chief Science Officer (CSO) and co-founder of pureLiFi. The demonstration equates only to five percent of the power of a typical 10 W LED light bulb but proves the point that lights can be dimmed down while high data rates and coverage are maintained. Moreover, the distance at which 1 Gbps can be achieved with a single colour LED is 10 times larger than what has been reported previously. The work was undertaken as part of the EPSRC funded Ultra Parallel-Visible Light Communications (UP-VLC) programme grant, in collaboration with partners from the Institute of Photonics at the University of Strathclyde, the University of Glasgow and the University of Oxford. The latest discovery follows the successful demonstration by pureLiFi of the world’s first commercial Li-Fi product, Li-1st, during March at MWC 2014 and CeBIT 2014. pureLiFi added a second production run of the Li-1st during March 2014 to meet the high demand from industry customers worldwide. This new production run is being shipped in April. “Li-Fi is revolutionising wireless communications and showing that Li-Fi can be the enabler of the emerging Internet of Everything. By transmitting data at speeds above 1 Gbps and record distances of 10 metres at a fraction of the power of typical LED bulbs, we continue to make the technological leaps and bounds that make Li-Fi a technology that could transform the way we use the internet in the near future,” explained Professor Harald Haas, CSO and co-founder of pureLiFi. Printoo: modular printed electronics made Arduino-compatible By Julien Happich A spin-out from YDreams, Ynvisible was founded in 2010 with the goal to bring more interactivity to everyday objects and surfaces, mostly through the use of flexible and printed electronics including the company’s fully transparent electrochromic display. The paper-thin display, which only becomes visible when activated can easily be integrated with different background graphics. Currently, the company is raising funds through the crowd-funding platform KickStarter for the first production batch of its Printoo Arduino-compatible printed electronics design platform. With more than three weeks to go, Ynvisible has already collected more than its initial $20,000 pledge which would support the production of roughly 500 kits featuring between 10 to 12 modules. Running Arduino software, the first Printoo packs include novel printed modules including LED light strips from VTT lab, 1.5V printed batteries from Blue Spark and Enfucell, 0.350mm thin organic photodetectors from ISORG, printed polymer solar cells from Mekoprint, and Ynvisible’s own transparent printed displays running from 1.5V. Also included are modules like Bluetooth LE, DC motor control, flexible LED matrixes, and a variety of sensors. The Printoo core is powered by the Atmel ATmega328 microcontroller. A list of components can be found at www.printoo.pt “Flexible and printed electronics components are often only available from labs and research institutes, and by building an Arduino-compatible platform capable of connecting different flexible modules, we’re giving designers a chance to try out these novel printed electronic technologies” explains Manuel Câmara, New Products Manager at Ynvisible. “With Printoo, we bring printed electronics to the masses. The Arduino user base is also more accepting, and by making Printoo an open-source project, we encourage more people to experiment with these relatively new technologies while they are still maturing”, Câmara added. “Our R&D engineers are taking printed electronics out of research and development laboratories into the mainstream” says Ynvisible’s CEO Inês Henriques in a presentation video on KickStarter. Among the various project examples shown on the promotional video, I must admit the very basic “girlfriend communicator” made me giggle. The company hopes to bring more modules as the platform develops, for example to include flexible memory, printed OLEDs, printed temperature sensors or image sensors. It is open to talk with all companies in the field of flexible electronics. Modularity means connectors. There are also quite a few discrete components mounted on flexible foils too. “In order to make Printoo modular and easy to experiment with, we’ve made the compromise to rely on 2.54mm pitch standard connectors for the different modules, so they are not as small as they could be if only using printed electronics. But of course, once they have proven a concept, designers can opt for better printed integration at manufacturing level” told us Câmara. Since Europe is driving the research in printed electronics, the Printoo kits will most likely be manufactured in Europe, so as to stay close to the companies involved, hinted Câmara. 18 Electronic Engineering Times Europe May 2014 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAY 2014
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