UHD video streams, VR, IoT, and more …. All of these are extremely bandwidth hungry. The bandwidth that WiFi can provide is limited by its carrier frequency (few GigaHertz). The light, on the other hand, has a much higher carrier frequency (hundreds of TeraHertz). Compare to Wifi, the optical waves can carry thousand to million times more information. Therefore light is becoming a perfect candidate for next-generation in-door communications. People call this LiFi.

How to construct a LiFi device? Free-space and fiber optics may be used, in very limited scenarios. It is due to the fact that more and more devices are mobile, such as smartphones and VR devices. This gives unique opportunity for photonic integrated circuits (PICs), where all the optical components are integrated in a single chip (just like its electronic brother: CMOS chips).

Recently, my colleagues and I worked together on a high-speed optical wireless receiver, fully integrated in a single photonic chip. The novel concept utilizes an efficient grating to capture the light from free space, and an ultrafast photodetector to convert the captured light into electrical signals for further process. We are able to demonstrate record-breaking 5 × 40 Gbit/s data transmission in a single device. This work has been accepted and presented at OFC as a postdeadline paper. You can find the link at the end of this post.

This is just a start! We are ambitious to make it even faster, more efficient and in larger scale.


Link to our paper:

Citation to our work: Z. Cao, L. Shen, Y. Jiao, X. Zhao, and A. Koonen, “200 Gbps OOK Transmission over an Indoor Optical Wireless Link Enabled by an Integrated Cascaded Aperture Optical Receiver,” in Optical Fiber Communication Conference Postdeadline Papers, OSA Technical Digest (online) (Optical Society of America, 2017), paper Th5A.6.

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