In a visible light communication (VLC) system, the modulation bandwidth of light emitting diode (LED) is limited with current technology. In addition, the nonlinearity inherited in the LED prevents the application of spectral efficient modulation schemes with high peak-to-average power ratio. These characteristics limit the overall throughput of the VLC system. In this letter, a one-bit sigma-delta modulator (SDM) is introduced to the transmit signal.
Such modification is compatible with the current LED lighting systems and LED drivers as the output of the one-bit SDM is equivalent to ON-OFF keying signal, thus is immune to system nonlinearities. In addition, the output of the one-bit SDM enjoys high spectral efficiency as the original input signal does. The out-of-band quantization noise can be taken care of at the receiver with analog filtering and digital signal processing. Simulation and experiment results validate that the SDM can significantly improve the VLC system performance.