What is an Optical Module?

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An optical transceiver chip is an integrated circuit (IC) that transmits and receives data using optical fiber rather than electrical wire. Optical fiber, also called fiber optic, refers to the technology associated with the transfer of information in light beams or pulses along solid transparent fibers or cables. optical transceiver chips facilitate the use of fiber to the premises (FTTP) services, in which optical fiber runs from central hubs all the way to the end users. This can provide extremely high-speed Internet access. Optical fiber systems can also be used to transmit and receive telephone communications and to receive digital television broadcasts.

 

Fiber Optic Transceivers Modules

 

An optical fiber transceiver is also called fiber optic transmitter and receiver, the function of the optical module is photoelectric conversion. The transmitter end takes in and converts the electrical signal into light, after the optical fiber transmission in the fiber cable plant, the receiver end again converts the light signal into electrical signal. Both the receiver and the transmitter ends have their own circuitry and can handle transmissions in both directions.

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Types

There are a number of different  types of  fiber optic transceivers available in the market. They differ in the type of connections, data transmission speed, as well as packing forms. According to the package, common type of fiber optic transceivers popular in the market is SFP, SFP+, XFP, X2, Xenpak, GBIC. According to the fiber type it connect to, there are MM (multimode), SM (Single mode), as well as WDM fiber (CWDM, DWDM modules).

 

Single Mode vs. Multimode Optical Modules: How Do You Choose?

Transceiver module usually come in either single mode or multimode modules. Chances are that you may make a choice between these two types transceiver module. But before that, there are a couple of factors you should consider. Single mode transceiver modules support longer reach data transmission and higher speed rates than multimode transceiver module. That’s mainly because multimode modules have shorter wavelength(around 850nm) than single mode modules(around 1260nm-1650nm). But in datacom environments, both singlemode transceiver modules and multimode transceiver modules can accommodate speeds beyond 50G as of today. And due to the “fragility” of single mode fiber system, single mode modules usually cost more than multimode. But single mode fiber costs less than multimode fiber. With regard to how to save largest budget, read this article for cost comparison: Single-mode Cabling Cost vs. Multimode Cabling Cost. So if you are hovering over the two types, port speed, desired reach and interconnect topology and total cost should be considered as the main decision criteria.

 

Can Single Mode Optical Modules Connect to Multimode Optical Modules?

The short answer for this question is no. Single mode module is 1310nm laser-based, and multimode module is 850nm LED-based, therefore, single mode optical modules only work over single mode fiber and multimode optical modules only work over multimode fiber. Single mode module should be used with single mode module over single mode fibers, and multimode module should be used with multimode module over multimode fibers. We can’t connect single mode module to multimode module. But for some optical modules that can work both over single mode and multimode fibers, such as 1310nm laser-based 1000BASE-LX/LH modules.

 

Conclusion

With the rapid development of Internet service and communication industry, optical communication is bound to become the most important strategic industry in 21th century. The elementary components of a basic optical communication consists of Ethernet switch, WDM passive device, optical module etc. Optical modules are the key building blocks for all network connectivity both inside and outside the data center.Fiber-Mart manufactures and supplies a complete range of optical modules which can be Customized. for more information, welcome to visit www.fiber-mart.com or contact me by e-mail: service@fiber-mart.com

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