Fraunhofer develops Li-Fi based deterministic wireless networking

November 19, 2019 //By Julien Happich
time sensitive networking
Researchers at the Fraunhofer IPMS have combined Li-Fi and Time Sensitive Networking to enable real-time and deterministic data transmission wirelessly for use in industrial robots and automation technology.

The combined technologies enable real-time and deterministic data transmission wirelessly for mobile applications such as industrial robots or dynamic manufacturing cells to communicate wirelessly and in real time via TSN standard.

"Li-Fi is a technology for wireless data transmission by means of light and offers the possibility to realize transmission times in the microsecond range. In addition, the data connection with Li-Fi is reliable and offers consistent quality," explains Dr. Alexander Noack, head of development at Fraunhofer IPMS.

"Li-Fi is therefore an ideal medium for real-time and deterministic wireless data communication. In this way, Time Sensitive Networking can also be implemented without cables”.

Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) extends existing Ethernet standards by deterministic and real-time data transmission through a common network. Especially in the field of modern production, high bandwidth and guaranteed cycle times of less than one millisecond are required. A time-critical and prioritized control of the data streams is indispensable for this.  

"Until now, real-time data transmission for TSN was wired. However, radio transmission would be an alternative, but there are clear limits," says Dr. Noack. "With today's radio standards such as 4G, LTE, W-LAN or the future 5G radio standard, required latency times from automation in the microsecond range cannot be achieved”. The Fraunhofer IPMS has developed a TSN Li-Fi hotspot prototype integrating TSN protocols into a Li-Fi hotspot, as an alternative.

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