A Research Team Succeeds in Making Telecommunication with LED and Camera Image Sensor

Sep 12, 2016

A generation where telecommunication is possible with only light and camera CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) and without separate telecommunication network is here. It is predicted that LBS (Location Based Service) and IoT services will be implemented through Smartphones and others in places where there are LED lights.
A research team led by Professor Han Sang-kook of Yonsei University made an announcement on the 11th that it has implemented ‘optical camera telecommunication’ that can send and receive data at speed of 9kbps by using LED lights and camera image sensor. This is currently the world’s fastest speed and research organizations from England other countries have only reached 2 to 3kbps so far.
Optical camera telecommunication has a similar method as LiFi that utilizes LED lights as telecommunication. LiFi uses visible ray onto LED lights to send and receive data. Although it feels that LED lights are continuous in human’s eyes, it flickers once out of one million times. Optical camera telecommunication can recognize flickers as digital signals of ‘0’ and ‘1’ and make telecommunications through wavelength rather than frequency. Theoretically, it can send data at speed that is 100 times faster than WiFi.
A device such as PD (Photodiode) that can send and receive data is needed for LiFi. Not only LED lights are needed to establish telecommunication infrastructures but receivers and transmitters for optical telecommunication are also needed. Professor Han believes that it is too expensive and is not suitable to install it into Smartphones. This indicates that it lacks mobility.
Optical camera telecommunication that is developed by a research team led by Professor Han utilizes camera image sensors as receivers and transmitters and allows telecommunication from small and light IT devices. Recently, it succeeded in receiving and sending data through image sensors that are in Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy Smartphones.
Research team is applying ‘algorithm that can draw image sensor data at high speed’, which is registered as a patent, and working on a research that will increase speed of telecommunication. “Considering current status of development, it will be possible to implement services with tens of Mbps speed in 2018.” said Professor Han. Although right now is at a level where only text data is able to be sent, images and small video files will be able to be sent and received through image sensors when there is speed of Mbps.
When this technology is commercialized, LBS can be implemented in places where there are LED lights. If this technology is applied to image sensors from black boxes of vehicles, ‘connected car’ that can send and receive data through LED backlights and communication with LED street lights can be made. “We are also currently working on AR service that is based on image sensor through many flickers of visible ray.” said Professor Han. “We are looking at many different applicable fields.”
Meanwhile, results from research of Professor Han’s research team is submitted to two SCI-level (Science Citation Index) journals. Research team also announced its technology at ‘OECC (Optoelectronics and Communications Conference) 2016’ that was held in Japan recently.
Staff Reporter Kwon, Dongjun | djkwon@etnews.com

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