CWDM: Cost Effective Fiber Optic Communications

By: coeirnparker | Posted: 04th October 2011

The use of fiber optic cables for communication has opened up gates for communication multiplexing technologies that maximize the capabilities at minimum costs. Coarse wavelength division multiplexing, or CWDM, modulates different wavelength laser beams with multiple signals. In effect, this means maximized use of a single fiber optic to transmit and receive a large number of signals, minimizing costs for telecom companies. Companies simply use the right optical amplifiers, multiplexers and de-multiplexers to enhance capacity of the fiber optic using CWDM technology.

Related technologies are dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) and conventional WDM. Conventional WDM use the 3rd transmission window with a wavelength of 1550nm, accommodating up to 8 channels. DWDM is the same but with a higher density channel. Systems may use 40 channels, each at 100 GHz spacing or 80 channels spaced 50 GHz apart. A technology, the ultra dense WDM is capable of working at a spacing of only 12.5 GHz, allowing more channels. DWDM and WDM are expensive in contrast to CWDM.

In CWDM technology, there is an increase in channel space. This translates to requirement of less sophisticated and less costly transceiver devices. Operating in the same window of 1550 nm and making use of OH-free silica fibers, maximum efficiencies are achieved in channels 31, 49, 51, 53, 55, 57, 59 and 61. The channels are spaced 20 nm apart. DWDM spaces them 0.4 nm apart. Less precision optics and lower cost, uncooled lasers with lower maintenance requirements can therefore be used in CWDM devices, operating in the region of 1470, 1490, 1510, 1530, 1550, 1570, 1590 and 1660nm. 18 different channels can be used with wavelengths up to 1270 nm. In addition to being cost effective, power consumption for laser devices used in CWDM technology is also far less.

CWDM signals cannot be transmitted long range but are perfect for applications within a range of 60 km such as in a city and for cable television networks allowing upstream and downstream signals.

A number of manufacturers offer all related CWDM multiplexers, demultiplexers and optical amplifiers. Networking solution providers are the right people to seek guidance for use of CWDM, DWDM or WDM technology. Networking solution providers carry out the entire installation and commissioning of the right, integrated devices for error-free high speed, high data transmissions over fiber optic lines. Cost and performance optimized CWDM solutions with built in expansion capabilities are available from reliable and trusted online network solution companies. Choose the right one with years of experience and technological expertise to provide the right CWDM solution.

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Tags: power consumption, related technologies, laser beams, maintenance requirements, telecom companies, fiber optic cables, laser devices