As we all know, fiber optical networking has two transmission ways: dual fiber transmission and single fiber transmission. The difference between them is that the former one requires two fibers—one is for transmitting and the other is for receiving, while the latter only uses one fiber for both transmitting and receiving. Single fiber transmission emergence reduces network deployment cost, especially in WDM systems. This blog intends to introduce how to achieve single fiber connections in CWDM and DWDM networks.
Understanding Single Fiber Transmission
Single fiber transmission, also called bidirectional (BiDi) transmission, sends data in both directions with one strand fiber. For enterprise networks or telecom networks providers who are with limited budgets and fiber capacity, the single fiber transmission is no doubt an ideal choice.
In addition, single fiber transmission is popular in many places.
Point to Point, Ring or linear Add and Drop, where installing new fiber is difficult or expensive
Enable segmentation of the enterprise traffic over 2 different fibers rather than using the same fiber for both segments
Increase reliability to an existing dual fiber solution by using one fiber for working and one for protecting
Single Fiber Solution in CWDM Systems
CWDM technology enables multiple channels (wavelengths) to be transmitted over the same fiber cabling and is able to provide a capacity boost in metro and access networks. Each channel carries data independently from each other, which allows network providers to transport different data rates and protocols (T1, T3, Ethernet, Serial, etc) for different customers or applications. Then how to achieve single fiber transmission in CWDM networks?
The above picture shows how different CWDM wavelengths are transmitted in a single fiber CWDM link. In this link, two 8CH CWDM Mux/Demuxs are required to transmit sixteen different wavelengths. At site A, there is a single fiber 8CH CWDM Mux/Demux using eight wavelengths for transmitting and the other different eight wavelengths for receiving. At site B, another 8CH single fiber CWDM Mux/Demux is deployed. But the wavelengths for TX and RX are reversed. And one single fiber connects the two CWDM Mux/Demux.
Notes: the use of transceivers connected with the CWDM Mux/Demux should be based on the wavelength of the TX side.
Single Fiber Solution in DWDM Systems
DWDM is an optical multiplexing technology to increase bandwidth over existing fiber optic networks, especially in long haul transmissions. And it can support more channels and higher traffic services such as 40G, 100G of LAN/WAN. Since the cost of DWDM components is high, the single fiber transmission is necessary.
DWDM single fiber transmission can be achieved with the use of single fiber DWDM Mux/Demux. As the following picture shows.
The picture shows a single fiber 8CH DWDM Mux/Demux with expansion port used for single fiber transmission. Similar to the single fiber CWDM Mux/Demux above, this DWDM Mux/Demux also uses eight wavelengths for transmitting and another eight wavelengths for receiving. In general, the DWDM Mux/Demux should be used in pairs in single fiber bi-directional transmission, and the Mux/Demux port for specific channel must be reversed. Besides, more channels can be added into the links with the expansion port.
This 8CH DWDM Mux/Demux single fiber solution allows extremely high utilizing of a single fiber strand to pass up to 16 wavelengths, optimizing the use of fiber optic cables. And in long distance transmission, optical amplifier also can be utilized.