CWDM Optics: Definition, Types and Standards, Advantages and Applications

With the continuous development of the optical communication industry, CWDM optical module, as a very cost-effective solution for network connection, is widely applied in Gigabit Ethernet and fiber channel applications, etc. However, it seems that there are still people confused about its some knowledge. For example, what is the CWDM optical module? What are the advantages of CWDM optical transceiver? What are the applications of CWDM optical transceiver?

What is CWDM Optical Transceiver?

CWDM optical module is a kind of optic fiber transceiver adopting CWDM technology. It can be connected with wavelength division multiplexer. It can multiplex different optical signals with different wavelengths into one signal for transmission over one fiber by utilizing the theory of wavelength division multiplexer. Simultaneously, it can also demultiplex multiplexed signals on the receiving end so that the optic resources can be saved. Therefore, the CWDM optical module is regarded as a low-cost and cost-effective network solution.

Types and Standards of CWDM Optical Transceiver

On the one hand, in terms of standards, CWDM optical transceiver is conformed to these standards:

  • Conformed to the RoHS standard
  • Conformed to IEEE standard 802.3 (Gigabit Ethernet 802.3z, 802.3ah, FastE 802.3u)
  • Accorded with physical interface specification FC-PI-2 of optical fiber channel.
  • Compatible with SONET/SDH optical standards
  • Conformed to SFP multisource Agreement(MSA)

On the another hand, with respect to types, CWDM optical module accorded with various standards can be divided into CWDM SFF optical module, CWDM SFP optical module, CWDM GBIC optical module, CWDM SFP+ optical module, CWDM XFP optical module, CWDM X2 optical module, CWDM XENPAK optical module and CWDM LX-4 optical module.

In addition, for the 10G optical transceiver, CWDM optical module includes CWDM SFP+ optical transceiver, CWDM XFP optical module, CWDM X2 optical module, CWDM XENPAK optical module, CWDM LX-4 optical module. IEEE Association defines a CWDM application standard for designs of equipment with a high rate, namely IEEE 802.3 AE-2002. After that, the CWDM 10G optical module can achieve longer transmission distance at 10Gbps. But even so, with the advent of QSFP28 100G CWDM4 for 2km transmission,  CWDM 10G optical modules can be not be spoiled as before.

Advantages and Applications of CWDM Optical Transceiver

A detailed introduction to types and standards of CWDM optical transceiver is made in the above contents. However, what are the advantages of CWDM optics? The answer is as follows:

1. Data transmission transparency

2. Large capacity, making full use of the bandwidth resources of the optical fiber.

3. CWDM technology greatly saves fiber resources and effectively reduces construction costs

4. It has the flexibility, stability, and reliability of networking.

5. It can be compatible with all optical network switching to achieve long-distance and without relay transmission.

6. The simplification of the laser module reduces the volume of the equipment and greatly saves the space of the data center.

7. The optical layer recovery is with independence and can effectively protect the data transmission.

8. Low insertion loss and low polarization correlation loss.

Surely, with so many advantages, the applications of CWDM optical modules cover a wide fields, such as in CATV (cable TV), FTTH (FTTH), 1G and 2G fibre channel, fast and Gigabit Ethernet, synchronous optical network SONET OC-3 (155Mbps), OC-12 (622Mbps) and OC-48 (2.488Gbps), the field of security and protection system.


Above all is an introduction to CWDM optical transceiver. Hoping it will be beneficial to your applications in the future life.

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