Market and Technology Trends
LiFi - Technology, Industry, and Market Trends
By Yole Intelligence —
LiFi: Niche or mainstream technology?
LIFI: A POSSIBLE GAME-CHANGER IN THE OPTICAL WIRELESS COMMUNICATION SPACE
Introduced by Harald Haas in 2011, light fidelity (LiFi) is an optical wireless communication (OWC) technology. LiFi uses the electromagnetic spectrum’s visible-light portion to transmit information at very high speeds. LiFi is strongly valued nowadays, thanks to the development of light emitting diodes (LEDs), which represent high-frequency semiconductor light sources capable of transmitting information. To perform such communication, LEDs are modulated at a high frequency level that can’t be perceived by the human eye.
With the recent boom in solid-state lighting (SSL), LEDs are now commonly used in lamps, luminaire, and many other lighting devices considered as potential data providers for LiFi systems.
Compared to other OWC technologies, LiFi offers advantages such as:
- Speed: High transfer data rates have been achieved in multiple demonstrations, with LiFi sometimes presented as 10 – 100x faster than Wi-Fi
- Security: Visible light-beam and intensities are easily controlled with existing technologies
- Energy efficient: The transmitted energy for communication is carried by visible light, which is intrinsically used for lighting applications
- Density: With an appropriate modulation solution, wireless capacity can be greatly increased
- Safety: Light communication represents an alternative to radio waves, which are potentially harmful
- High bandwidth: The visible light spectrum represent a large bandwidth, unlicensed and free to use
- Low cost: LiFi systems require fewer components than radio wave technology
Many applications can benefit from LiFi technologies: avionics, underwater data communication, healthcare, automotive & transportation, education, and more.
By nature, LiFi helps solve specific issues in numerous applications: for example, reducing a plane’s weight by using optical fiber instead of copper cables, or eliminating the risk of electromagnetic interference in hospitals. On a broader scale, LiFi can also provide additional bandwidth capacity to communication networks (when available).
This report presents an analysis of LiFi technology and applications, including: basic principles, specifications, positioning of LiFi with other OWC technologies, benefits and challenges, and classification of applications with use-cases.
COMMUNICATIONS STANDARD: THE KEY TO UNLEASHING LIFI’S GROWTH POTENTIAL
A LiFi system is a complex communication system that integrates many different components/functions and software:
- LEDs for light emission
- Light sensors
- Power management electronics
- Modulation encoding and demodulation decoding systems
- Network management embedded software
To allow for bi-directional communication, the components must be integrated in two systems. For instance, an LED luminaire/lamp paired with a terminal, i.e. a computer or a smartphone. Although downstream data can be carried by visible light, it is hardly possible for upstream data to use white light – therefore, infrared (IR) light is preferred in order to prevent glare.
In this context, technology/system integration will therefore be key to LiFi’s development – but it’s important to understand that the choice of components/functions (i.e. LiFi system design) also plays a strong role in LiFi system performance. Typically, at the light emission level, a monochromatic LED will enable a data rate 10x times higher compared to a white LED. Also, when modulated at high frequencies, white LEDs can suffer colorimetric distortion due to variations of the balance between emitted photons from the blue source and from the phosphor-converted material.
Regarding industry aspects, the focus will be on integrators and their willingness to bet on LiFi technology. Indeed, a clear commitment from a carrier industry (i.e. telecom, mobile devices, lighting) is mandatory for making concrete products from the technology.
Despite these technological and industrial challenges, the main roadblocks for LiFi market development remain at the standard level. Indeed, like most communication systems, LiFi will require an open communication standard that facilitates the development of a sustainable ecosystem. This is a key enabler for unleashing the promising growth potential held by LiFi-related businesses. To this end, a LiFi-dedicated standard known as IEEE 802.11.bb is expected to be released in 2021.
This report presents an in-depth analysis of LiFi systems, including: light emitter and receiver, electronic data management, and digital modulation aspects. Also highlighted are the global standard and regulation aspects related to LiFi development.
A POSSIBLE $1.1B OPPORTUNITY IN 2023?
LiFi represents a strong potential technology, with key advantages in relation to different observed trends. However, we do see two major challenges that could prevent the technology from developing at a fast pace in the short/mid-term: standardization activities, and development of products and services integrating LiFi, i.e. mobile devices from big OEMs like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei.
In this context, two market development scenarios are envisioned:
- “Bear” scenario – LiFi as a complementary communication technology for niche applications
- “Bull” scenario- LiFi becomes the favored communication technology for strong use-cases
Currently, the LiFi industry is still in its infancy, and our best expectation is for significant growth to begin in 2021, with a 53% CAGR from 2021 – 2023. Industrial, hospitality & healthcare, retail, office, education, and residential will represent 80% of the expected volume in 2023.
Technology integration and volume will then allow strong cost/price reduction, which will fuel market growth that could reach $2.7B in 2028.
This report offers an examination of the LiFi industry and market, including: supply/value chain, company profiles of key LiFi technology providers, product segmentation, and a market volume & revenue forecast (based on Yole’s “two- scenario”analysis).
ACS, Acuity Brands, Advancephotonics, Airbus, AMD, Ampleon, Analog device, Anadigics, Apple, Aptima, Babcock, Bechtel, Bentham, BMW, Broadcomm, Canon, Carrefour, CBRE, Centronic, CIE, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, DHL, Digi International, Egigap, Electro-Optics technology, Emcore, Everlight,Excelitas, Fagor Electronica, Fernionics, Firefly LiFi, First Sensor, Fraunhofer HHI & IPMS, Freescale Semiconductors, Fujitsu, Global LIFI Tech, H&M, Hamamatsu, Hilton, Hochstein, Hochtieff, Home Depot, Huawei, IEC, IEEE, IES, Inditex, Infineon, Infrared Data Association, Inping, Intel, JLL, KeioUniversity, Lightbee, Lucibel, Luciom, Lumileds, Luna, Macom, Malsch, Mars, Maxim Integrated, Mc Donalds, Mediatek, Micro Semiconductor Limited, Monenco Iran, Murata, Musée de la carte à jouer, Nav Wireless Technologies, Next LiFi, Nichia, Nokia, Nvidia, NXP, OECA, OledComm, On Semiconductor, Optodiode, Optoi, Orange, OSI optoelectronics, Osram, Palaiseau City, Panasonic, Perpignan Hospital,Philips, PureLifi, Qorvo, Qualcomm, Renault, Samsung, Semtech, Seoul Semiconductors, Sharp, Signify,Sisoft, SONY, ST Microelectronics, Stins Goman, Sumimoto Electric, Technilum, Telefonica, Tesco, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, US Department of Commerce, Velmenni, Verizon, Vinci, Vislay, Vodafone, Volkswagen, Walmart, Windham, Wolfspeed, ZVEI, etc.
KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT
- In-depth analysis of LiFi technology, components, and system integration
- Analysis of LiFi’s added-value, applications, and use-cases
- Comprehensive analysis of the LiFi industry and value chain
- Complete review of LiFi roadblocks and growth enablers
- Realistic analysis of LiFi market development scenarios
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
- Provide readers with the first comprehensive overview of LiFi, an emerging wireless communication technology
- Explain how LiFi technology operates, compared to similar and competing technologies
- Describe how the market for wireless communication technologies is evolving, and the role LiFi could play
- Propose an analysis and predictions for LiFi’s technical and market development
From optical wireless communications to LiFi 34
- Optical wireless communications
LiFi technology and systems 48
- Principles of LiFi technology
- Components of a LiFi system
- Digital modulation aspects
- Standards and regulatory aspects
LiFi applications 95
- Application segmentation
- LiFi vs. RF
- Indoor navigation applications
- Healthcare applications
- Avionic applications
- Underwater data transmission applications
- Automotive/transportation applications
- Other applications
LiFi industry 152
- LiFi supply/value chain
- LiFi technology providers – company profiles
LiFi Market 173
- Product segmentation
- Economy drivers
- Technology drivers
- Societal drivers
- Competencies required to DESIGN a LiFi
- Competencies required to MARKET a LiFi
- Key trends
- Competitive forces analysis
- Two scenarios for LiFi industry development
- Forecast methodology
- Scenario 1 – complementary communication
technology for niche applications
- Scenario 2 – favored communication technology
for strong use-cases
- 10-year trend : 2018 – 2028 LiFi market revenue
- Evaluating the likelihood of our “two scenarios”
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