The Stack Archive

LED technology could boost WiFi speeds up to ten time

Tue 21 Apr 2015

Researchers at Oregon University have developed a new LED technology which has the potential to increase WiFi bandwidth by ten times.

The engineering team hopes that the technology could help solve bandwidth problems caused by overcrowding and multimedia streaming. The system could for example be integrated with existing WiFi systems at events, in coffee shops, at airport terminals and in multiple-device homes to reduce bandwidth strain.

“In addition to improving the experience for users, the two big advantages of this system are that it uses inexpensive components, and it integrates with existing WiFi systems,” said associate professor of electrical and computer engineering Thinh Nguyen.


Nguyen and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering Alan Wang, built the first prototype, WiFO, using LEDs which rank outside of the human visual spectrum. The diodes emit an invisible stream of light measuring approximately one square metre to deliver the data.

Despite the small area of usability, the duo demonstrated that the technology could be used across a hybrid network that switches between the LED transmitters and the existing WiFi system.

The researchers claim that the technology could potentially send data at 100 megabits per second. Current WiFi systems can reach this level of bandwidth but it has to be split between the number of connected users, so each device may just be receiving data at a rate of five to ten megabits per second. Whereas the new hybrid LED system could deliver up to 100 megabits to each individual user, according to the developers.

“I believe the WiFO system could be easily transformed into a marketable product, and we are currently looking for a company that is interested in further developing and licensing the technology,” said Nguyen.


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