Visible Light Communications

The High Bandwidth Alternative to WiFi

Instructor: Harald Haas

Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 9:00am to 4:30pm EDT

Online via WebEx

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Register by 28 October 2018 at 5:00pm EDT.

Course Description

The visible light spectrum is 1000 times larger than the entire radio frequency spectrum of 300 GHz, and this simple fact provides the motivation to use visible light as a high bandwidth alternative to radio. The applications range from gigabit interconnects in data centers, through mobile networking in homes and offices to point-to-point long range wireless backhaul links outdoors. We will set the scene by looking at existing conventional wireless access technology and state clearly its limitations.

Then we will go on to provide a general background to the subject of optical wireless communications, followed by a brief summary of the history of visible light communication VLC). We will discuss the relationship between VLC and LiFi (light fidelity), introducing the major advantages of VLC and LiFi and discuss existing challenges.  Recent key advancements in physical layer techniques that led to transmission speeds greater than 10 Gbps will be discussed.

Moving on, we introduce channel modelling techniques, and show how this technology can be used to create fully-fledged cellular networks achieving orders of magnitude improvements of area spectral efficiency compared to current technologies. The challenges that arise from moving from a static point-to-point visible light link to a LiFi network that is capable of serving hundreds of mobile and fixed nodes will be discussed. An overview of recent standardization activities will be provided. Lastly, we will discuss commercialization challenges of this disruptive technology.

Who Should Attend

This advanced-beginner course is intended for a diverse audience including lightwave system researchers and engineers as well as photonic device researchers and engineers and optical sub-system designers. The course should also be of interest to researchers and practitioners in fibre optic communication, wireless communication and lighting systems design. Some basic knowledge in optics and communication theory will be useful, but is not a prerequisite. The same applies to basic knowledge of wireless access networks.


Visible Light Communications

Harald Haas

Professor of Mobile Communications, FRSE

Professor Haas received the PhD degree from the University of Edinburgh in 2001. He currently holds the Chair of Mobile Communications at the University of Edinburgh, and is co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of pureLiFi Ltd as well as the Director of the LiFi Research and Development Center at the University of Edinburgh. His main research interests are in optical wireless communications, hybrid optical wireless and RF communications, spatial modulation, and interference coordination in wireless networks. He first introduced and coined spatial modulation and LiFi. LiFi was listed among the 50 best inventions in TIME Magazine 2011.

Prof. Haas was an invited speaker at TED Global 2011, and his talk: "Wireless Data from Every Light Bulb" has been watched online more than 2.4 million times. He gave a second TED Global lecture in 2015 on the use of solar cells as LiFi data detectors and energy harvesters. This has been viewed online more than 1.8 million times.  Professor Haas holds 43 patents and has more than 30 pending patent applications. He has published 400 conference and journal papers including a paper in Science. He co-authors a book entitled: "Principles of LED Light Communications Towards Networked Li-Fi" published with Cambridge University Press in 2015. Prof. Haas is editor of IEEE Transactions on Communications and IEEE Journal of Lightwave Technologies. He was co-recipient of recent best paper awards at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-Fall) in Las Vegas in 2013, and VTC-Spring in Glasgow in 2015, ICC 2016 in Kuala Lumpur and ICC 2017 in Paris. He was co-recipient of the EURASIP Best Paper Award for the Journal on Wireless Communications and Networking in 2015, and co-recipient of the Jack Neubauer Memorial Award of the IEEE Vehicular Technology Society. In 2012, he was the recipient of the prestigious Established Career Fellowship from the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) within Information and Communications Technology in the UK.  Prof. Haas is recipient of the Tam Dalyell Prize 2013 awarded by the University of Edinburgh for excellence in engaging the public with science.  In 2014, he was selected by EPSRC as one of ten RISE (Recognising Inspirational Scientists and Engineers) Leaders in the UK. In 2016, he received the outstanding achievement award from the International Solid State Lighting Alliance which was awarded by Prof. Shuji Nakamura. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017, and in the same year he received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award. 

Learning Objectives

This course will enable you to:

  • Understand the limits to conventional WiFi technology and how light can provide massively higher bandwidth.
  • Describe key visible light technologies such as VLC and LiFi.
  • Explain practical limitations of VLC communication links
  • Explain the impact of strong sun light and non-line of sight conditions on data rate performance.
  • Explain physical layer security in LiFi attocellular networks
  • Compare different digital modulation techniques used in intensity modulation / direct detection systems in terms of spectrum efficiency and energy efficiency as well as various environmental conditions.
  • Discuss pros and cons of angular diversity and multiple input multiple output techniques in VLC systems.
  • Summarise methods to achieve multiuser access and to support mobility in LiFi optical attocell networks.
  • List practical co-channel interference mitigation techniques in LiFi attocell networks.
  • Explain how the downlink capacity of optical attocell networks could be obtained taking into account that effects such as fading do not exist unlike in RF.
  • Discuss how LiFi could lead to a merger of the lighting and wireless communication industries.
  • Understand commercialization challenges

Course Content

1) Introduction and motivation (30 min)
2) History of Visible Light Communication (VLC) (15 min)
3) What is LiFi and differences to VLC (30 min)
4) Advantages of LiFi (45 min)
5) Common misconceptions (30 min)
6) Channel modeling (15 min)
7) Digital modulations techniques for LiFi (45 min)
8) MIMO in LiFi (30 min)
9) Multi-user access in LiFi (15)
10) LiFi attocellular networks and performance (60 min)
11) Standardisation (15 min)
12) Commercialization (30 min)

Course Materials

Each registered participant receives a copy of instructor slides and access to the recording of the course for 15 business days after the live lecture. Earn 0.6 IEEE Continuing Education Untis for participating upon completion of post-course evaluation.

Course Cancellation and Refund Policy: 

Requests for online course cancellations must be received 3 business days prior to the course date for a full refund. Once course materials have been shared with a participant, cancellation and refund requests cannot be accommodated.

Contact Us

Register Now
Register by 28 October 2018 at 5:00pm EDT.