ECE Colloquium | LiFi - High Speed Wireless Networking Using Nano-Metre Waves

October 6, 2017 - 15:30 - 17:00

LiFi - High Speed Wireless Networking Using Nano-Metre Waves


Dr. Harald Haas, University of Edinburgh Friday,


October 6th, 3:30pm


Fred Kaiser Building, room 2020/2030, 2332 Main Mall, UBC (find parking)


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 the visible light spectrum to augment RF cellular communications. We will set the scene by motivating the need for new wireless spectrum. Then we will go on to provide a general background to the subject of optical wireless communications. We will discuss the relationship between VLC and LiFi, 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 – primarily focusing on the new IEEE 802.11 LC (light communication) Study Group activities. Lastly, we will moot commercialization challenges of this disruptive technology.


Professor Haas received his 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 31 patents and has more than 30 pending patent applications. He has published 400 conference and journal papers including a paper in Science. He was co-recipient of recent best paper awards at VTC-Fall, 2013, VTC-Spring 2015, ICC 2016 and ICC 2017. 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 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. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017.

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