To show its readiness for the mobile market and lure smartphone OEMs into integrating LiFi in their next generation of products, during Mobile World Congress (MWC) the company exhibited a working demonstrator. At the booth, tiny apertures into a standard HP laptop allowed the company’s embedded optical LiFi components to support Gbit data transmission speeds (for the downlink, 400MB/s uplink) between the laptop and a POE-connected LiFi light fixture fitted with a GU10 bulb.
pureLiFi already boasts about 130 LiFi deployments globally in over 20 countries, mostly in corporate offices and campuses. At last year’s MWC, the company had made the first ever skype call using a smartphone connected through a plug-in LiFi module. More and more use cases are cropping up for LiFi on the basis that the wireless optical connection is immune to RF interferences and also considered more private as it does not reach beyond walls.
“In one year, we went from a 43MB/s data throughput to 1Gbit/s and we have significantly shrunk our optical components”, Banham told.
“We now have the right components at the right size and the right cost to have discussions with big OEMS for the integration of LiFi on their roadmap” the CEO said.
“We own the design of the optical components, we have our “secret sauce” to package the photosensor with the emitter and the analogue circuit, and we will further integrate those”, the CEO said.
The IEEE 802.11bb standard for light communication is expected to be ratified in 2021, ASICs will then be designed to drive LiFi products and pureLiFi expects to integrate all the necessary components between 2021 and 2022 so it could ship devices in volume in about three years’ time.
Talking about the competitive landscape, Banham says the market for LiFi is being created right now, and the more competitors the better to help grow the market size. “But from what our customers say, we are pretty advanced in terms of integration and data rate. Of course we don’t know what’s in the kitchen of others”, the CEO concluded.