Use CWDM Or DWDM to Multiplex Your Fiber?
CWDM vs DWDM
CWDM scales to 18 distinct channels. While, DWDM scales up to 80 channels (or more), allows vastly more expansion. The main advantage of CWDM is the cost of the optics which is typically 1/3rd of the cost of the equivalent DWDM optic. CWDM products are popular in less precision optics and lower cost, less power consumption, un-cooled lasers with lower maintenance requirements. This difference in economic scale, the limited budget that many customers face, and typical initial requirements not to exceed 8 wavelengths, means that CWDM is a more popular entry point for many customers.
Buying CWDM or DWDM is driven by the number of wavelengths needed and the future growth projections. If you only need a handful of waves and use 1Gbps optics, CWDM is the way to go. If you need dozens of waves, 10Gbps speeds, DWDM is the only option.
Using a WDM(Wavelength Division Multiplexing) for expanding the capacity of the fiber to carry multiple client interfaces is a highly advisable way as the physical fiber optic cabling is not cheap. As WDM widely used you must not unfamiliar with it, it is a technology that combines several streams of data/storage/video or voice protocols on the same physical fiber-optic cable, by using several wavelengths (frequencies) of light with each frequency carrying a different type of data.
Ultimately, the choice to use CWDM or DWDM is a difficult decision, first we should understand the difference between them clearly.
Two types of WDM architecture available: Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM). CWDM/DWDM multiplexer and demultiplexer and OADM (Optical Add-Drop Multiplexer) are common fit in with Passive. With the use of optical amplifiers and the development of the OTN (Optical Transport Network) layer equipped with FEC (Forward Error Correction), the distance of the fiber optical communication can reach thousands of Kilometers without the need for regeneration sites.
CWDM, each CWDM wavelength typically supports up to 2.5Gbps and can be expanded to 10Gbps support. The CWDM is limited to 16 wavelengths and is typically deployed at networks up to 80Km since optical amplifiers cannot be used due to the large spacing between channels. CWDM uses a wide spectrum and accommodates eight channels. This wide spacing of channels allows for the use of moderately priced optics, but limits capacity. CWDM is typically used for lower-cost, lower-capacity, shorter-distance applications where cost is the paramount decision criteria.
The CWDM Mux/Demux (or CWDM multiplexer/demultiplexer) is often a flexible plug-and-play network solution, which helps insurers and enterprise companies to affordably implement denote point or ring based WDM optical networks. CWDM Mux/demux is perfectly created for transport PDH, SDH / SONET, ETHERNET services over WDM, CWDM and DWDM in optical metro edge and access networks. CWDM Multiplexer Modules can be found in 4, 8 and 16 channel configurations. These modules passively multiplex the optical signal outputs from 4 too much electronic products, send on them someone optical fiber and after that de-multiplex the signals into separate, distinct signals for input into gadgets across the opposite end for your fiber optic link.
Typically CWDM solutions provide 8 wavelengths capability enabling the transport of 8 client interfaces over the same fiber. However, the relatively large separation between the CWDM wavelengths allows expansion of the CWDM network with an additional 44 wavelengths with 100GHz spacing utilizing DWDM technology, thus expanding the existing infrastructure capability and utilizing the same equipment as part of the integrated solution.
DWDM is a technology allowing high throughput capacity over longer distances commonly ranging between 44-88 channels/wavelengths and transferring data rates from 100Mbps up to 100Gbps per wavelength.
DWDM systems pack 16 or more channels into a narrow spectrum window very near the 1550nm local attenuation minimum. Decreasing channel spacing requires the use of more precise and costly optics, but allows for significantly more scalability. Typical DWDM systems provide 1-44 channels of capacity, with some new systems, offering up to 80-160 channels. DWDM is typically used where high capacity is needed over a limited fiber resource or where it is cost prohibitive to deploy more fiber.
The DWDM multiplexer/demultiplexer Modules are made to multiplex multiple DWDM channels into one or two fibers. Based on type CWDM Mux/Demux unit, with optional expansion, can transmit and receive as much as 4, 8, 16 or 32 connections of various standards, data rates or protocols over one single fiber optic link without disturbing one another.