OptiPulse is testing a new light source that sends invisible eye-safe infrared light wirelessly from one building or pole to another at 10Gbps. The light source is a miniature chip that costs ~$1 to produce in large volumes and has tested error-free at 25Gbps. The Light is about the same wavelength as your TV remote. It is turning on and off at 25 billion times a second to send data over a beam of invisible light with extremely high bandwidth. The company has designed the compound semiconductor chip, developed, and produced it at a commercial foundry. The chips were installed in a “binocular” type 3rd prototype that emulates a wireless infrastructure link.
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Optical Wireless Infrastructure reduces microwaves and costs while increasing performance and saving energy (Graphic: Business Wire)
OptiPulse is trying to prove that light is superior to microwaves for sending high speed wireless data. Their first product will be beta tested within 6 months. The links use invisible light about the same wavelength as your TV remote’s infrared light. The demonstrated 10Gbps upload and download systems can reduce the cost and increase the performance of those links. The 3rd prototype used less than ¼ of the energy a typical microwave link. These combined factors may ultimately lead to a significant reduction in energy use worldwide even as the bandwidth demands increase.
OptiPulse’s first goal is to make infrastructure links that can be a kind of wireless extension cord for fiber optic deployments. Many times, fiber installers run into rock, streams or highway crossings that are difficult to span. Plugging the fiber into one device at the obstacle can send the same bandwidth wirelessly across the difficult area much cheaper than the alternatives. It is hoped by many current clients waiting for the links that it will reduce the cost and time for fiber installs. The links can also be used in metro areas to not disturb businesses by tearing up roads in major metro areas.
The founder, John Joseph, believes the way to prevent this work from being taken over is by getting the public to fund and oversee its development. The company has started with a WeFunder crowd funding campaign where the public can invest as little as $100. https://wefunder.com/optipulse