What is DWDM?

What are WDM networks?

Wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technology combines multiple wavelengths into a single optical fiber. This technique enables better fiber utilization, as it increases fiber capacity and enables building effective optical networks over long distances in which fiber resources are scarce and cost of deployment is higher. In WDM networks, each wavelength is transparent to the speed and type of data, and any mix of data, storage, voice and video services is transmitted simultaneously over a fiber pair or single fiber.

There are two types of WDM technologies; each suits different environments, networks and user requirements: DWDM - dense wavelength division multiplexing, and CWDM - coarse wavelength division multiplexing.

What is DWDM?

The growing need to support high capacity applications over longer distances has made DWDM the technology of choice for greenfield installations, and for upgrading existing networks (see Alien Wavelengths).

DWDM supports the entire C-band spectrum and enables to aggregate multiple wavelengths into a single fiber with capacities of 10G/100G/200G/400G per wavelength for long haul, metro and DCI applications. One of the biggest advantages of DWDM is the use of optical amplifiers (EDFARaman), which amplify the entire DWDM spectrum (see Figure1). They overcome long spans of attenuation and fiber loss, enabling cost-effective transmission over long distances, without the need for regenerators. The optical amplifiers are managed and configured as part of the optical network and have adjustable gain and operation modes.

DWDM optical network solutions also use ROADMs, which enable flexibility and cross connect of wavelengths in ring and mesh networks. They also enable simple turn up of new services/wavelngths across the network fast and without sending technical resources to each node across the path.

DWDM Network with Mux/Demux and EDFAs

Figure 1: Diagram of DWDM Network with Mux/Demux and EDFAs

The full optical layer transport solution includes muxponders, transponders, ROADM, optical amplifiers, OTN layer, and NMS.

DWDM Connection Including: Transponder, Muxponder, ROADM and Mux/Demux

Figure 2: Example of a DWDM Connection Including: Transponder, Muxponder, ROADM and Mux/Demux

DWDM wavelengths are also used to upgrade and increase capacity in an existing CWDM network. Read more about DWDM over CWDM Network.

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