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General Information about CWDM/DWDM

Wavelength division multiplexing is a technique used to transmit multiple signals over one fiber using different wavelengths. The technique has become very popular because of the high costs of renting or buying additional dark fiber. This technique is a very cost-effective method to increase bandwidth.


Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing uses steps of twenty nanometer per optic.  Starting at 1270nm and ending at 1610nm, it consists of eighteen different ‘colors.’  CWDM is very beneficial at 1G as the optics are extremely inexpensive and can reach distances up to 180 kilometers. CWDM 10G is less popular because the lower wavelengths of the CWDM band cause a lot of attenuation – only the eight wavelengths 1470–1610nm are used for distances up to 80 kilometers.



Dense Wave Division Multiplexing uses steps of 0.8nm per optic. The wavelengths are centered around 1550nm (C-Band, 1530 – 1565nm) and are available in 64 different channels. The most commonly used colors are channels 18 – 61.  DWDM is popular for long distances because the signal can be amplified using Eribium Doped Fiber Amplifiers, Raman amplification, or Semiconduction Optical Amplification.

Solid Optics provides CWDM and DWDM multiplexers in various configurations ranging from small trays for outdoor usage to 19’’ rack units for indoor applications. We test every port of each multiplexer for attenuation and provide a test report by serial number.  Most of the large router and switch manufacturers do not offer all available CWDM and DWDM optics in their portfolio.  Because we specialize in this technology, Solid Optics is able to offer nearly every optic for all of the major network equipment brand routers and switches.


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