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Getting to Know the DWDM Transceivers in DWDM Systems

To keep pace with the rapid growth of Internet traffic, service providers have been seeking to improve fiber capacity and wavelength spectrum efficiency in their networks. In response to this situation, DWDM technology is emerging. DWDW is an optical multiplexing technique for increasing the bandwidth of existing fiber networks. DWDM transceivers are important parts of DWDM network, which provide high-capacity and long-distance transmissions. Let’s take a closer look together.

dwdm transceivers

What are DWDM and DWDM Transceiver?

DWDM refers to dense wavelength division multiplexing, which is a technology that gathers data signals from different sources, enables them to share a single optical fiber pair while the separation of data streams is ensured. It supports up to 80 simultaneous wavelength channels, with each of the channels only 0.8nm apart. The technology creates multiple virtual fibers thus multiplies the capacity of the physical fiber cable. It is applied to increase bandwidth over existing fiber networks and transmit data for longer distances.

DWDM transceiver is a kind of fiber optic transceiver with its own features and functions. It is designed for single-mode fiber transmission and operates at a nominal DWDM wavelength from 1528.38 to 1563.86 nm (Channel 17 to Channel 61) as specified by the ITU-T. Like other transceivers, it converts the electrical signal to optical signal and vice versa. The transceiver can support up to 10 Gbps and span a distance up to 120 km, which makes itself stand out in high-capacity and long-distance transmissions.

Types of DWDM Transceivers for DWDM Networks

DWDM transceivers are available in different types, which can support transmission rate from 155 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s. Here are the common types of DWDM transceivers classified based on data rate, form factor and fixed or tunable wavelength.

From the Perspective of Data Rate

In the case of data rate, DWDM transceiver usually can be divided into two types: 1G   DWDM transceiver and 10G DWDM transceiver. 1G DWDM transceiver includes DWDM SFP transceiver. 10G DWDM transceiver can be further divided into DWDM SFP+ transceiver, DWDM X2 transceiver, DWDM XFP transceiver and DWDM XENPAK transceiver. DWDM SFP transceiver provides a signal rate range from 100 Mbps to 2.5 Gbps, usually used as part of a DWDM optical network to provide high-capacity bandwidth. DWDM SFP+/X2/XFP/XENPAK transceivers support 10-Gigabit data rates from 9.9G to 11.25G (LAN, WAN, and OTU2/OTU2e) which are applied in different applications.

From the Perspective of Form Factor

In terms of form factor, DWDM transceiver can be classified into DWDM SFP transceiver, DWDM SFP+ transceiver, DWDM X2 transceiver, DWDM XFP transceiver and DWDM XENPAK transceiver. Among those transceivers, DWDM SFP and SFP+ transceivers are the most commonly used ones, based on the SFP form factor which is an MSA standard build. DWDM X2 transceiver is based on the X2 form factor, designed for high speed data transmission for data center networking. It’s an ideal choice for data communications and telecommunications switches and routers. DWDM XFP transceiver is based on the XFP form factor which is also an MSA standard build. DWDM XENPAK transceiver is SC duplex receptacle module and is designed for backbone Ethernet transmission systems, which is the first 10GbE transceiver that supports DWDM. It can support 32 different channels for transmission distance up to 200 km with the aid of EDFAs.

From the Perspective of Fixed or Tunable Wavelength

Considering fixed or tunable wavelength, DWDM transceiver can be divided into fixed wavelength DWDM transceiver and DWDM tunable transceiver. Fixed wavelength DWDM transceiver, as the name implies, the wavelength is fixed. It can only transmit a certain number of wavelength, regular fixed wavelength transceiver transmits wavelength at 1310nm and 1550nm for 10G data transmission applications. The Tunable DWDM transceiver is a unique product which enables you to set the channel or “color” that the laser emits. Typically these tunable optics are for the C-Band 50GHz. Around 88 different channels can be set with intervals of 0.4nm. Tunable transceivers are typically used as “spare-optics”, in case of emergency.


In DWDM systems, a large number of DWDM transceivers with different wavelengths, data rates and form factors are required to satisfy network flexibility in optical network. Now that you know all the types of DWDM transceivers, you can compare them with each other and find the one you need. FS.COM provides a variety of transceivers including those mentioned above. High-quality and cost-effective products, intimate service only at FS.COM. You won’t want to miss it.

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Things You Need to Know About DWDM Transceiver

In optical communications, DWDM (Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technology enables a number of different wavelengths to be transmitted on a single fiber, which makes it a popular choice among many different areas such as local area networks (LANs), long-haul backbone networks and residential access networks. In these transmission processes, DWDM transceivers play an important role. Here is a brief introduction to them.

Basics of DWDM Transceiver

DWDM transceiver, as its name shows, is a kind of fiber optic transceiver based on DWDM technology. As mentioned above, it enables different wavelengths to multiplex several optical signals on a single fiber without requiring any power to operate. And these transceivers are designed for high-capacity and long-distance transmissions, supporting to 10 Gbps and spanning a distance up to 120 km. Meanwhile, the DWDM transceivers are designed to Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) standards in order to ensure broad network equipment compatibility.

The basic function of DWDM transceiver is to convert the electrical signal to optical and then to electrical signal, which is as same as other optical transceivers. However, based on DWDM technology, DWDM transceiver has its own features and functions. It’s intended for single-mode fiber and operate at a nominal DWDM wavelength from 1528.38 to 1563.86 nm (Channel 17 to Channel 61) as specified by the ITU-T. And it is widely deployed in the DWDM networking equipment in metropolitan access and core networks.

Common Types of DWDM Transceiver

There are different types of DWDM transceiver according to different packages such as DWDM SFP transceiver, DWDM SFP+ transceiver, DWDM XFP transceiver, DWDM XENPAK transceiver and DWDM X2 transceiver. Here is a simple introduction to them.

DWDM SFP Transceiver

DWDM SFP transceiver is based on the SFP form factor which is an MSA standard build. This transceiver provides a signal rate range from 100 Mbps to 2.5 Gbps. Besides, DWDM SFP transceiver meets the requirements of the IEE802.3 Gigabit Ethernet standard and ANSI fibre channel specifications, and are suitable for interconnections in Gigabit Ethernet and fibre channel environments.


DWDM SFP+ Transceiver

DWDM SFP+ transceiver, based on the SFP form factor, is designed for carriers and large enterprises that require a flexible and cost-effective system for multiplexing and transporting high-speed data, storage, voice and video applications. The maximum speed of this transceiver is 11.25G. It’s known to all that DWDM enables service providers to accommodate hundreds of aggregated services of sub-rate protocol without installing additional dark fiber. Therefore, DWDM SFP+ transceiver is a good choice for 10G highest bandwidth application.


DWDM X2 Transceiver

DWDM X2 Transceiver is a high performance serial optical transponder module for high-speed 10G data transmission applications. The module is fully compliant to IEEE 802.3ae standard for Ethernet, which makes it ideally suitable for 10G rack-to-rack applications.


DWDM XFP Transceiver

DWDM XFP transceiver is based on the XFP form factor which is also an MSA standard build. The maximum speed of this transceiver is 11.25G and it is usually used in 10G Ethernet. This transceiver emits a specific light. And there are different industry standards and the 100Ghz C-band is the most used one which has a spacing of 0.8 nm. What’s more, DWDM XFP supports SONET/SDH, 10GbE and 10 Gigabit fibre channel applications.


DWDM XENPAK Transceiver

DWDM XENPAK transceiver is SC duplex receptacle module and is designed for backbone Ethernet transmission systems. It is the first 10GbE transceiver ever to support DWDM. And it can support 32 different channels for transmission distance up to 200 km with the aid of EDFAs. DWDM XENPAK transceiver allows enterprise companies and service providers to provide scalable and easy-to-deploy 10 Gigabit Ethernet services in their networks.


Applications of DWDM Transceiver

As the growing demand of bandwidth, DWDM technology is becoming more and more popular. And DWDM transceivers are commonly used in MANs (metropolitan area networks) and LANs. Different types of DWDM transceiver have different applications. For example, DWDM SFP transceivers are applied in amplified DWDM networks, Fibre Channel, fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and other optical transmission systems, while DWDM XFP transceivers are usually used in the fields which meet the 10GBASE-ER/EW Ethernet, 1200-SM-LL-L 10G Fibre Channel, SONET OC-192 IR-2, SDH STM S-64.2b, SONET OC-192 IR-3, SDH STM S-64.3b and ITU-T G.709 standards.


In summary, DWDM transceiver is an essential component in DWDM systems. Fiberstore offers various DWDM transceivers and is able to provide the advanced technology and strong innovative capability to produce the best optical components for DWDM systems. If you are interested in our products, please visit FS.COM for more detailed information.

The application of DWDM integration systems in MSPP

Traditionally, SONET platforms have been dedicated to services that could be encapsulated within SONET frames. Today vendors not only can deliver SONET services from MSPPs, but they also can hand off these services in a DWDM wavelength service.

DWDM can be implemented with an MSPP in two ways. Most often when you think about DWDM systems. However, the multiplexing of multiple light source is always a “passive” activity. Wavelength conversion and amplification is always the “active” DWDM activity.

MSPP chassis with integrated DWDM optics in which the optics cards (in this case, OC-48s) use one of the ITU wavelengths and interfaces to an external filter. This filter multiplexes the wavelengths from various optics cards within multiple chasses and transports them over the fiber, where they are demultiplexed on the MSPP because the filter is a separate device.

This inefficient use of the rack and shelf space has led to the development of active DWDM from the MSPP. With active DWDM, the transponding of the ITU wavelength to a standard 1550-nm wavelength is performed by converting the MSPP shelf into various components required in a DWDM system. This conversion has greatly increased the density of wavelengths within a given footprint. For example the kind of passive DWDM, only 16 wavelengths could be configured within a bay, 4 per chassis. With today’s multiport, multiport optical cards, this density can be doubled to 8 wavelengths per shelf and 32 per rack.

With the integrated active DWDM solution, one MSPP chassis can be converted into a 32-channel multiplexer/demultiplexer using reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) technology. Other chassis can be converted into a multiplexer (OADM), which can receive and distribute multiple wavelengths per shelf. The implication of this is that up to 32 wavelengths can be terminated within a bay or rack, a factor of eight times the density of even early MSPPs using a passive external filter. The traffic from within each wavelength dropped into an MSPP shelf from the ROADM hub shelf can be groomed or extracted from the wavelengths carrying it, as needed, and dropped out of the OADM shelves. ROADM is an option that can be deployed in place of fixed-wavelength OADMs. Cisco Systems ROADM technology, for example, consists of two modules: 32-channel reconfigurable multiplexer (two-slot module), 32-channel reconfigurable demultiplexer (one-slot module). Use of software-provisionable, small form-factor pluggable(SFP)client connectors, and wavelength tunability for reduced card inventory requirements. Multilever service monitoring: SONET/SDH, G.709 digital wrapper, and optical service channel for unparalleled service reliability.

MSPP chassis

With so many advantages, one of the disadvantages is that parading shift is required to move the market toward MSPP-based DWDM. This slow migration is keeping vendors at bay in terms of development as they try to balance investment in the future with today’s revenue. The widespread introduction of this technology, however, DWDM price also should be considered. The price of DWDM transceivers is typically four to five times more expensive than that of their CWDM counterparts. The higher DWDM transceiver costs are attributed to a number of factors related to the lasers.

Several ways exist for protecting an MSPP-based DWDM system in the event of a fiber cut or signal degradation. Such protection options include client protection, Y-cable protection, and wavelength splitting.

Reliability for these options varies, depending on the client network architectures and service-level agreements (SLA) provided to the client. Thus, there is no “one size fits all” approach to protection.

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