KDDI Corp demonstrated the "Giga-IR," an infrared communication standard with a data rate of 1Gbps, at Wireless Japan 2008.
The technology is expected to be used for forwarding music and video data stored in mobile phones at high speeds to other mobile phones, PCs, TVs, DVD recorders and printers, and so forth.
KDDI developed this communication format and is standardizing it at the "IrDA (Infrared Data Association)," an organization standardizing infrared communication technologies, with the aim of completing the standardization in March 2009. The format had initially been named "EFIR (extremely fast infrared communication)," but was renamed when it was transferred from its study group to an SIG (special interest group), which actually formulates the specification.
KDDI chose a high data rate of 1Gbps, as "We aimed at a sharp increase in data rates, considering rates of around 100Mbps are not fast enough to differentiate our technology from existing wireless technologies," it said. "It only takes a second to forward 20 to 30 music files" at 1Gbps, KDDI said.
Unlike most infrared communications using LEDs as light-emitting elements, Giga-IR uses semiconductor laser elements.
When Nikkei Electronics asked if the module size and cost increase, KDDI answered, "The light-emitting element itself is even smaller than an LED. We can make the module size equivalent to that of other infrared modules by integrating transceiver circuits into a chip in the future. The cost can be lowered to that of infrared communication modules (at ¥10 to 20 per unit) as well when mass-produced."
Although using laser, adjusting the light axis is not very difficult, as its light spreads to an angle of 10 degrees from the axis. The laser output is several mW, which is "Class 1," a level that is safe for exposure to the eyes, KDDI said.