DWDM technology is an extension of optical networking. DWDM devices (multiplexer, or Mux for short) combine the output from several optical transmitters for transmission across a single optical fiber. At the receiving end, another DWDM device (demultiplexer, or DeMux for short) separates the combined optical signals and passes each channel to an optical receiver. Only one optical fiber is used between DWDM devices (per transmission direction). Instead of requiring one optical fiber per transmitter and receiver pair, DWDM allows several optical channels to occupy a single fiber optic cable. As shown below, by adopting high-quality AAWG Gaussian technology, FS DWDM Mux/Demux provides low insertion loss (3.5dB typical), and high reliability. With the upgraded structure, these DWDM multiplexers and demultiplexers can offer easier installation.
A key advantage to DWDM is that it’s protocol and bitrate independent. DWDM-based networks can transmit data in IP, ATM, SONET, SDH and Ethernet. Therefore, DWDM-based networks can carry different types of traffic at different speeds over an optical channel. Voice transmission, email, video and multimedia data are just some examples of services which can be simultaneously transmitted in DWDM systems. DWDM systems have channels at wavelengths spaced with 0.4 nm spacing.
DWDM is a type of Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM). A fundamental property of light states that individual light waves of different wavelengths may coexist independently within a medium. Lasers are capable of creating pulses of light with a very precise wavelength. Each individual wavelength of light can represent a different channel of information. By combining light pulses of different wavelengths, many channels can be transmitted across a single fiber simultaneously. Fiber optic systems use light signals within the infrared band (1 mm to 400 nm wavelength) of the electromagnetic spectrum. Frequencies of light in the optical range of the electromagnetic spectrum are usually identified by their wavelength, although frequency (distance between lambdas) provides a more specific identification.