100G Single-Mode Modules for Short Distance Transmission

As bandwidth demand continues to grow, network service providers are looking at 100G Ethernet network to accommodate the constant traffic surge. This new technology translates into greater speeds and a possible network infrastructure upgrade to compensate for various challenges that do not apply to slower networks, such as 10G, or 40G. 100G Ethernet provides high-speed connectivity while protecting current network infrastructures that requires broad expertise and wide-range testing to qualify the state of the fiber, perform fiber characterization and assess the integrity of data transmission over long-haul and ultra-long-haul networks. In response to 100 Gigabit Ethernet, many famous telecommunication companies, like Cisco, have delivered industry-leading, standards-compliant, 100G pluggable transceiver modules, such as single-mode QSFP-100G-LR4 for the transmission distance up to 10 km and multimode QSFP-100G-SR4 for the transmission up to 100 m. How about single-mode 100G modules for the transmission distance less than 2 km? Today, we’re going to introduce two 100G interfaces over single-mode fiber for short distance transmission: 100GBase CWDM4 and 100GBase PSM4.

The Development History of 100GBase CWDM4 and 100GBase PSM4

The IEEE standardized a cost-effective 100m solution known as “SR4”. Beyond 100m, there is only the “LR4” standard, which is targeted to achieve 10km. Customers, particularly hyperscale data centers are looking for solutions up to 2 km. To response, in 2014, a new industry group CWDM4(coarse wavelength division multiplexed 4x25G multi-source agreement) MSA which is consisted of Avago Technologies, Finisar Corp, JDSU, Oclaro, and Sumitomo Electric, announced the formation of an industry consortisum dedicated to defining specifications and promoting adoption of interoperable 2km 100 interfaces over duplex single-mode fiber, which smooths the process of getting to 100Gb Ethernet.

Like the development history of 100GBase-CWDM4, in order to fill the requirement of low-cost 100G connections at reaches of 500 m in applications that fall in between the IEEE standardized multi-wavelength 10-km 100GBase-LR4 single-mode approach and its multimode-fiber based 100GBase-SR10 short reach specification, six technology vendors aim to promote the creation and adoption of parallel single-mode 4-lane (PSM4) approach to 100G in the data center.

Main Features of 100GBase-CWDM4 and 100GBase-PSM4

100GBase-CWDM4: 100GBase CWDM4 module comply with the requirement of CWDM4 MSA. It is a 100G optical module using CWDM (coarse wavelength division multiplexing) technology with 4 lanes of 25Gbps optically multiplexed onto demultiplexed from a standard duplex G.652 single-mode LC or SC fiber for the link length from 2 meters to at least 2 kilometers. Transceiver modules compliant to CWDM4 MSA specification use a color code to indicate the application. The color code can be on a module bail latch, pull lab, or other visible feature of the module when installed in a system The image below shows the working principle of 100GBase-CWDM4.

100GBase-PSM4: 100GBase-PSM4 is a parallel module which provides increased port density, offering four independent transmit and receive channels, and each channel operates at 25Gbps, resulting in an aggregate data rate of 100Gbps for optical communication applications. It can support the link length up to 500 m over single-mode MPO or MTP fiber. The working principle of 100GBase-PSM4 is shown below.

Which One Is More Cost Effective?

From an optical transceiver module structure viewpoint, PSM4 can be more cost effective, this comes in two reasons: One is that it uses a single uncooled CW laser which splits its output power into four integrated silicon modulators, the other is that its array-fiber coupling to an MTP connectors is relatively simple.

However, from an infrastructure viewpoint, PSM4 would be more expensive when the link distance is long, mainly due to the fact that PSM4 uses 8 optical single-mode fibers, while CWDM4 uses only 2 optical single-mode fibers.

When take these two factors into considerations, a total cost comparison can be qualitatively shown in the figure below. As can be seen in the figure, PSM4 starts with a lower cost due to its lower transceiver cost, but as the link distance increases, its total cost climbs up very fast due to the fact that it uses 8 optical fibers. Besides, if deploying PSM4 modules, the entire optical fiber infrastructure within a data center, including patch panels, has to be changed to accommodate MTP connectors and regular single-mode fiber cables. In addition, cleaning MTP connector is not a straightforward task.


With the requirement for longer distances and higher data transmission speed increases, 100GBase-CWDM4 and 100GBase PSM4 which provide lower-cost, lower power option for what can be referred to as medium-reach distances that is future-proof for the next generations of data transmission speeds. fiber-mart.COM offers compatible 100GBase-CWDM4 and 100GBase-PSM4 for many brands at affordable price. You can choose the right one according to your need.

Why Not Use Raman Amplifier to Extend the CWDM Network Reach?

In comparison with the long-haul DWDM network that uses the thermo-electric coolers to stabilize the laser emissions essential, the CWDM network is a more economical solution that features wider wavelength spacing, allowing the wavelength fluctuation of uncooled directly modulated laser diodes (DMLs). But on the other hand, the CWDM network exists the limitation for the uncooled DMLs’ output power and the additional loss of CWDM Mux Demux and optical add/drop modules. These make the CWDM loss budget limited to < 30 dB and the CWDM reach within 80 km. Moreover, when the insertion loss of the dark fiber is higher than our expectation, a decreasing transmission distance may occur. Hence, here offers the Raman amplifier (see the following figure) to extend the CWDM network reach, as an ideal solution.

What’s Raman Amplifier?

Raman amplifier, also referred to as RA, is a kind of optical fiber amplifier based on Raman gain, which is used for boosting optical signals and finally achieving a longer transmission distance. Different from the erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) and semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA), the RA intensifies the signals through the nonlinear interaction between the signal and a pump laser within an optical fiber, as shown in the figure below.

At present, two kinds of Raman amplifiers are available on the market, the distributed and lumped Raman amplifiers. As for the distributed Raman amplifier (DRA), it uses the optical fiber as the gain medium to multiplex the pump wavelength with signal wavelength, so that the optical signals can be boosted. With regard to the lumped one (LRA), it requires a shorter length of optical fiber for the signal amplification. Both of these two Raman amplifiers are suitable for amplifying CWDM signals and extending the CWDM network reach.

Why Raman Amplifier Is Used for Amplifying CWDM signals?

As we know, the EDFA and SOA are able to strengthen the CWDM signals. But why it is not recommendable for the CWDM network? In fact, they can not perform as well as the RA in the CWDM network for some limitations, which can be learned from the following figure.

The figures above shows various gain bandwidths of these three optical fiber amplifiers for CWDM network, but only the gain bandwidth the RA offers meet the CWDM network demands. To fully serve the CWDM network, the RA usually optimizes the pumping lightwave spectrum to extend the usable optical bandwidth. As for the EDFA, its gain bandwidth can not match well with the channel spacing of the CWDM network requirements. And for the SOA, although it offers the gain bandwidth fit enough for the CWDM network, it is still not suggested for the inherent technical limitations. In details, the SOA has a relatively low saturation power but a high noise figure and polarization sensitivity, compared to other two amplifiers. Hence, the RA is undoubtedly the best choice to strengthen the CWDM signals and lengthen the CWDM network reach.

How Does Raman Amplifier Benefit CWDM Network?

In order to study the benefit of RA for the CWDM network, here offers two sets of research data about the receiver sensitivity, for a bit-error rate (BER) of 10-9 using a pseudo-random bit sequence (PRBS) with a 231-1 word length.

From the figure above, we can learn that the first set of data is resulted from the four channel CWDM network without use of the RA, while the second utilizes the RA. In order to check whether the Raman amplifier benefits the CWDM network, we can take the data of 100km CWDM transmission through singlemode fiber (SMF) as an example. The power penalty of the transmission with a RA are separately -34.4 dBm, -34.2 dBm, -33.2 dBm and -32.3 dBm. It is 0.3 dBm better than the power penalty of the transmission without a RA, at least. Except that, we can also learn that the CWDM network with a RA can transmit the signals through the SMF at lengths up to 150m without any repeater stations, while the network without the RA cannot.


The Raman amplifier is an ideal alternative to the repeater in CWDM network, for intensifying the CWDM signals and extending the CWDM network reach. By using the Raman amplifier, the loss budget of the CWDM network can be increased, which finally achieves a longer transmission. Meanwhile, from the view of cost, the RA and the repeater are almost the same, but the repeater stations should cost much more for constructing and maintaining. Moreover, using the RA in the CWDM network can also gain the loss compensation of OADM. Then, why not use Raman amplifier to extend your CWDM network reach?

Fiber Optic Connectors in FTTD Applications

Because of major national policy support, to develop the field of fiber optic products, optical fiber gradual decline in the price of the cost, fiber optic installation and construction are also increasingly simple and convenient, plus high-bandwidth optical fiber, a wide range of applications, from external electromagnetic interference and prevent signal leakage, etc., fiber optic system solutions increasingly factored by customers. FTTx is the use of optical fiber as a transmission channel network physical layer information media, mainly as a network of broadband access. x represent different scenarios applications generally include the following:

1. FTTC (Fiber to The Curb/Cell) is mainly for residential service, ONU telecommunications equipment installed in the side of the road junction box, through the coaxial cable extending from ONU transmission CATV signal, twisted-pair copper networks to transmit voice and fiber optic splice mode signal.

2. FTTB (fiber to the building) service object has two types, one is an apartment building home users, the other is the commercial building companies or business units. ONU devices are generally placed on the bottom into a building (such as the basement), where apartment buildings may be FTTC ONU extension; while commercial buildings because it is a company or business office services enterprises, so that the network transmission performance requirements are higher, network stability and security requirements more stringent.

3. FFTH (Fiber to The Home) optical fiber directly extended to all home users, all-digital network services, to provide users with a variety of life and entertainment services, such as a doctor at home, online shopping, video on demand, remote training.

4. FTTD (fiber to the desk) refers to the fiber completely replace the traditional copper twisted-pair transmission medium extends directly to the user terminal (such as office computers, printers, etc.), the user terminal to achieve full network access through fiber, improves network transmission bandwidth, extending the transmission distance, and enhance the stability of the network and information security.

The main impact of the test fiber system performance parameters – decay, in addition to the quality of their products with the relevant cable, the most important is the construction and installation process.

1. Fiber polishing method: through on-site hand-grinding, with epoxy adhesive curing, the connector assembly steps to complete the cable connection. Now the basic fiber polishing method should not be adopted, because this way the construction workers demanding technical level, and for the present single-mode systems, Gigabit multimode networks, grinding mode is difficult to achieve, unstable performance.

2. Fiber splicing method: it works by fiber alignment system to align the ends of optical fibers, the use of high-temperature high-pressure arc discharge tip of the principle and performance of fiber-optic high temperature melting, so that fiber splicing together to obtain low loss, low reflection fiber optic fusion splice. Fiber splicing method most widely used at this stage, the most suitable for application in a large number of relatively concentrated fiber termination, especially in the wiring between the application of the cabinet.

3. Fiber Optic Splice method (also called mechanical fiber splice): The whole process does not require cold then hot welding machine, suitable for relatively small number of core optical fibers, optical fiber connecting geographically dispersed, especially suitable for the application in the FTTD.

Fast optical fiber connector is characterized by the application FTTD

Fast fiber optic connectorsis smaller than the volume of the common connector smaller, more convenient wall and desktop installation, to ensure the stability of the optical system performance and reliability. However, if the conventional optical fiber splicing manner, since the heat-shrinkable sleeve has a length 6 ~ 7mm, the bottom panel 86 of the cartridge mounting space is not deep enough, it cannot guarantee performance of the fiber splice and fiber bend radius requirements may result network communication is unstable.

Fast fiber optic connector with fiber embedded in the factory, without gluing and sanding, simple and convenient. Process does not require the entire cold then hot melt machine, greatly reducing the complexity of fiber termination, saving fiber splice time and improve the efficiency of construction.

Fast fiber optic connector with a simple construction and installation requires only a crimping tool to completer fiber optic splice, easy to use and short training period; and cold connection equipment investment cost is small, as FTTD solutions to improve the cost-effectiveness.

Fast fiber optic connector construction process does not require an active device, suitable for office construction for harsh environments, especially in pre-construction project, most of them are not powered site environment or to take power inconvenient places.

Fast fiber optic connector can be repeated production, improve the utilization of fiber head, significant cost savings.

Fast fiber optic connector is available in SC and LC connectors, multi-mode OM2, OM3 and singlemode OS2 Gigabit systems to choose from.

Guide to Fiber Optic Attenuator

Fiber Optic Attenuator is a device to reduce the optical fiber power at a certain level by a predetermined factor. The intensity of the signal is described in decibels (dB) over a specific distance the signal travels. Attenuator provides a certain amount of isolation between instruments, thus reducing measurement interaction. This can be done by attenuating the unwanted reflected signal due to imperfect matching. Fiber optic attenuators are used in applications where the optical signal is too strong and needs to be reduced, it is mainly used for fiber optic system of measurement, signal attenuation for short distance communication system and system test, etc. For example, in a multi-wavelength fiber optic system, you need to equalize the optical channel strength so that all the channels have similar power levels. This means to reduce stronger channels’ powers to match lower power channels.

The basic types of optical attenuators are fixed and Variable Attenuators. The most commonly used type is female to male plug type fiber optic attenuator, it has the fiber connector at one side and the other side is a female type fiber optic adapter. Female to male mechanical attenuator is assembled with a fixed type connector, so it can only be connected with one patch cord, such as LC Attenuator, sc Attenuator, fc Attenuator, st Attenuator, etc.

Fixed Attenuators

Fixed value attenuators have fixed values that are specified in decibels. Just its name implies, fixed value attenuator’s attenuation value cannot be varied. The attenuation is expressed in dB. The operating wavelength for optic attenuators should be specified for the rated attenuation, because optic attenuation of a material varies with wavelength. Their applications consist of telecommunication networks, optic fiber test facility, Local Area Network(Lan) and Catv systems.

Fixed value attenuators are composed of two big groups: In-line type and connector type. In-line type looks like a plain fiber patch cable; it has a fiber cable terminated with two connectors which you can specify types. The in-line fiber optic attenuator is fit to use with optical patch cables. To use these in-line Fiber Optics Attenuators just select the connector type you need ST, SC, LC, & FC Available, the Polish (PC, UPC or APC angled Polish) & the Decibel dB rating.

Variable Attenuators

Variable attenuators come with variety separate designs. They are normal used for testing and measurement, but they also have a wide usage in Edfas for equalizing the light power among separate channels. One type of changeable attenuator is built on a D-shaped fiber as a type of evanescent field device. If a bulk external material, whose refractive index is greater than the mode effective index, replaces a part of the evanescent field reachable cladding, the mode can come to be leaky and some of the optic power can be radiated. If the index of the external material can be changed with a controllable mean, straight through the effects such as thermo-optic, electro-optic, or acoustic-optic, a gadget with controllable attenuation is achievable. Other types of variable attenuators consist of air gap, clip-on, 3-step and more.

As it comes to getting a fiber optic attenuator you have several options listed above, so before you buy one you must be sure at what level you want to attenuate your signal and then choose what type will work best for you. Taking the time to choose the right one can save you big time.

Introduction of the Transients in Optical WDM Networks

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A systems analysis continues to be completed to consider dynamical transient effects in the physical layer of an Optical WDM Network. The physical layer dynamics include effects on different time scales. Dynamics from the transmission signal impulses possess a scale of picoseconds. The timing recovery loops in the receivers be employed in the nanoseconds time scale. Optical packet switching in the future networks will have microsecond time scale. Growth and development of such optical networks is yet continuing. Most of the advanced development work in optical WDM networks is presently focused on circuit switching networks, where lightpath change events (for example wavelength add/drop or cross-connect configuration changes) happen on the time scale of seconds.
It is focused on the dynamics from the average transmission power associated with the gain dynamics in Optical Line Amplifiers (OLA). These dynamics may be triggered by the circuit switching events and have millisecond time scale primarily defined by the Amplified Spontaneous Emission (ASE) kinetics in Erbium-Doped Fiber Amplifiers (EDFAs). The transmission power dynamics will also be influenced by other active components of optical network, for example automatically tunable Optical Attenuators, spectral power equalizers, or other light processing components. When it comes to these dynamics, a typical power of the lightpath transmission signal is recognized as. High bandwidth modulation from the signal, which actually consists of separate information carrying pulses, is mostly ignored.
Ring WDM networks implementing communication between two fixed points are very well established technology, in particular, for carrying SONET over the WDM. Such simple networks with fixed WDM lighpaths happen to be analyzed in many detail. Fairly detailed first principle models for transmission power dynamics exist for such networks. These models are implemented in industrial software allowing engineering design calculations and dynamical simulation of these networks. Such models could possibly have very high fidelity, but their setup, tuning (model parameter identification) and exhaustive simulations covering a variety of transmission regimes are potentially very labor intensive. Adding description of new network components to such model could need a major effort.
The problems with detailed first principle models is going to be greatly exacerbated for future Mesh WDM networks. The near future core optical networks will be transparent to wavelength signals on a physical layer. In such network, each wavelength signal travels through the optical core between electronic IP routers around the optical network edge using the information contents unchanged. The signal power is attenuated in the passive network elements and boosted by the optical amplifiers. The lightpaths is going to be dynamically provisioned by Optical Cross-Connects (OXCs), routers, or switches independently on the underlying protocol for data transmission. Such network is basically a circuit switched network. It might experience complex transient processes of the average transmission power for every wavelength signal at the event of the lightpath add, drop, or re-routing. A mix of the signal propagation delay and channel cross-coupling might result in the transmission power disturbances propagating across the network in closed loops and causing stamina oscillations. Such oscillations were observed experimentally. Additionally, the transmission power and amplifier gain transients could be excited by changes in the average signal power because of the network traffic burstliness. If for some period of time the wavelength channel bandwidth is not fully utilized, this could result in a loss of the average power (average temporal density of the transmitted information pulses).
First circuit switched optical networks are already being designed and deployed. Fraxel treatments develops rapidly for metro area and long term networks. Engineering design of circuit switched networks is complicated because performance has to be guaranteed for all possible combinations of the lightpaths. Further, as such networks develop and grow, they potentially need to combine heterogenous equipment from a variety of vendors. A system integrator (e.g., fiber-mart) of such network might be different from subsystems or component manufacturer. This creates a necessity of developing adequate means of transmission power dynamics calculations which are suitable for the circuit switched network business. Ideally, these methods should be modular, independent on the network complexity, and use specifications on the component/subsystem level.
fiber-mart has technical approach to systems analysis that’s to linearize the nonlinear system around a fixed regime, describe the nonlinearity like a model uncertainty, and apply robust analysis that guarantees stability and gratifaction conditions within the presence of the uncertainty. For a user of the approach, there is no need to understand the derivation and system analysis technicalities. The obtained results are very simple and relate performance to basic specifications of the network components. These specifications are somewhat not the same as those widely used in the industry, but could be defined from simple experimentation using the components and subsystems. The obtained specification requirements may be used in growth and development of optical amplifiers, equalizers, optical attenuators, other transmission signal conditioning devices, OADMs, OXCs, and any other optical network devices and subsystems influencing the transmission power.

Optical Amplifier Used in CATV Transmission Network

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CATV technology has matured steadily over the past several years, and has expanded into diverse applications. However, as the quick expansion in technology and services, it’s important to improve CATV network component performance for higher visual and audio signals transmission. Optical amplifier for CATV application is the key element in such transmission. This post intends to give a clear introduction of optical CATV amplifier and its application in CATV transmission.
Introduction to CATV Amplifier
CATV amplifier is also a type of EDFA (Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier) amplifier which is the most popular optical amplifier in optical network communications. It is mainly used to amplify damped TV signals (compensation for loss) for improved signal quality before sending them to each subscriber. Moreover, CATV amplifiers not only amplify the signal, but also amplify the noise on the line, and bring some return loss. That’s why a quality CATV amplifier price is a little high, because it can provide better performance for the whole network transmission.
Why CATV Amplifier Is Needed?
As we all know, CATV network is a multi-channel TV system to transmit high quality video and sound signal from a large number of digital or analog broadcast television and radio channel via fiber optic cable or coaxial cable. CATV amplifier often acts as booster optical amplifier in this system to get satisfying transmission effect. The following picture illustrates a basic long haul CATV transmission system using EDFA amplifier.
In most cases, the satellite providers deliver high quality digital video and audio to users’ home depending on the users’ equipment. However, the signal incoming cable feed is connected to more than one equipment with use of optical splitters. And if the incoming signal gets fragmented and rerouted, the overall speed and quality will be worse. Under this condition, an optical amplifier can be used to boost the signal power and help users get better services.
CATV Amplifier in Long-Haul CATV Transmission System
As have mentioned above, a basic long-haul CATV communication link consists of head end, transmitter, receiver, optical amplifier, and sometimes fiber splitter is also needed in this type of transmission network. The head end receives TV signals off the air or from satellite feeds, and supplies them to the transmission system. The optical splitters are often utilized in a poin-to-multipoint configuration. Here are two CATV fiber network cases using CATV booster amplifier.
Case one
This is a point-to-multipoint medium size private CATV network. In the head end, the transmitter receives signals from the RF combiner on the 1310nm or 1550nm wavelength. Then the signals split into several parts and are received by the CATV receiver. Finally, all the signals are amplified by the CATV amplifier and sent to the subscriber.
Case two
In the above application case, the optical amplifier lies behind the CATV receiver, but in this case, it’s a little different.
As we can see from the graph, the CATV amplifier lies in the front of the receiver to boost the transmission distance longer. Except for that, this transmission network also deploys two DWDM Mux/Demux to multiply the eight different wavelengths into one fiber for better transmitting. Please note that this graph just illustrates part of the long-haul CATV system.