CWDM and DWDM Network Solutions

Growing demands of the internet users is one of the reasons that lead using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks to transmit optical data. So, what is WDM? WDM is a technology that multiplexes various optical signals through a single optical fiber by taking advantage of different wavelengths of laser light. And the ITU-T recommendation specifies the wavelengths used in CWDM/DWDM or OADM. All the passive fiber optic components are made of filters that only allow specific wavelength to pass through a fiber port and then the others to be reflected to another fiber ports.

WDM Network Overview

A WDM network uses a multiplexer at the transmitter to join the several signals together, and a demultiplexer at the receiver to split them apart. With the increasing demand of data, video and mobile usage on many networks, WDM technology has proved to be the most reliable and cost-effective in transporting large amount of data in telecom. And by utilizing CWDM and DWDM network systems to scale the bandwidth, the operators enable to transmit service from 2Mbps up to 100Gbps of data. Now WDMs are very popular in field of CATV, Internet, VoIP, audio and video solutions, and even bring FTTX solutions to the people’s daily life.

CWDM Network Solutions

CWDM stands for Course Wavelength Division Multiplexer. “Course” means the channel spacing is 20nm with a working channel pass band (±6.5nm or ±7.5nm) from the wavelengths center. CWDM MUX DEMUX Modules take advantage of conventional thin-film filter (TFFS) technology and that allow various channels within ITU G.694 Grid (1270nm~1610nm,1271nm~1611nm), to realize multiplexing or demultiplexing wavelengths over one fiber. Due to the use of cheaper CWDM uncooled laser or lower-quality multiplexer and demultiplexers without fiber amplifiers. The CWDM works at a 60 or 80 km transmission with the wavelength of 1550nm. So CWDM is a very attractive options in metro networks.

DWDM Network Solutions

DWDM stands for Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexer. The word “Dense” is referring to the very narrow channel spacing measured in Gigahertz (GHz) as opposed to nanometer (nm). DWDM us typically use channel spacing measured in GHz (100G or 200G, C-Band 1525nm~1565nm). Now an optical fiber inter-leaver or optic fiber chip is used to double the channel of 100GHz or 200GHz spacing, that’s 50GHz or 100GHz AWG. Just like CWDM MUX DEMUX, DWDM MUX DEMUX also takes the advantage of thin-film filters and are used to increase the amount of data capacity that can be transmitted over a single fiber. The DWDM will be with more channels with much tighter channel spacing. Typical DWDM MUX DEMUX modules only have 32, 40, 44 channels but today’s 50Ghz 100Ghz DWDM MUX DEMUX doubles the channel spacing and can reach up to 64, 80, 88 and even 90 channels.

40 channel Mux Demux

DWDM is the most suitable technology for long-haul transmission because of its ability to allow EDFA amplification. Given the growing need for bandwidth driven by data-hungry applications (smartphones, video streaming, etc.), DWDM has now found its way into metro networks, and is even being used in some cellular back-haul deployments.


WDM systems have become one of the major solutions to meet the growing demand for increased network bandwidth brought about by the rapid growth of Internet and data services. CWDM and DWDM network solutions have their own suitable applications. If you want to get more details for these solutions, kindly visit


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