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OPTOELECTRONICS LED lightbulbs access Internet to pave the way for energy saving LiFi technology Chinese scientists have claimed that Wi-fi connectivity from a LED lightbulb (LiFi) is now a step closer. Li-fi promises to be a cheaper and more energy-efficient technology than existing wireless radio systems. The general availability of LED bulbs and the omnipresence of lighting infrastructure offers major energy efficiency benefits. Although millions of WiFi base stations have been installed worldwide to boost signals most of the energy is consumed by their cooling systems. The energy utilization rate of WiFi is as low as five percent. Compared with base stations, the number of lightbulbs that can be used is practically limitless and more energy efficient. The Chinese scientists claim that a LED lightbulb with embedded microchips can produce data rates as fast as 150 megabits per second, which is speedier than the average broadband connection in China. Chi Nan, an information technology professor with Shanghai’s Fudan University said that experiments have shown that four computers under a one-watt LED lightbulb may be able to connect to the Internet under the principle that light can be used as a carrier instead of traditional radio frequencies, as in WiFi. Chi Nan, who leads a LiFi research team including scientists from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, plans to display ten sample LiFi kits at the China International Industry Fair that opens on November 5, 2013 in Shanghai. LiFi technology www.lifi-led.com Sensor captures images and gestures Siliconfile Technologie, a South Korean developer of CMOS image sensors, has teamed up with Dual Aperture Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) to build an image sensor that can capture real-time distance information at the same time as taking pictures. The ability to do this on a single image sensor, as opposed to dual sensors typically used for 3D image capture, would be a boon to gesture recognition systems, the companies said. Startup Dual Aperture has developed a four-color sensor that includes, red, green, blue and infra-red pixels, instead of the traditional GRGB Bayer filter pattern. The sensor uses two separate apertures, one for the RGB spectrum and the other for the IR spectrum, to simultaneously capture two distinct images with different sharpness levels. Under the terms of the agreement Dual Aperture will license the technology to Siliconfile which will then include the technology, together with related image processing algorithms and application software, into sensors and sensor modules. Such sensors will be able to both capture and reconstruct a conventional color image but also provide real-time depth information. The depth information can be used to support refocusing of lens systems and also support the preparation of 3D image pairs for stereoscopy and for gesture tracking. Dual Aperture www.dual-aperture.com 34 ew14_Electronic 190x136_EE_Engineering TimesEurope_Wissen.Times indd Europe 1 November 2013 www.electronics-eetimes.17.10.13 com 10:51


EETE NOV 2013
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