Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

What's the difference between DWDM and CWDM?

Expert Ivan Pepelnjak explains the primary differences between dense wavelength division multiplexing and coarse wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM and CWDM).

What's the difference between DWDM and CWDM?

The primary difference between DWDM and CWDM is the channel spacing (CWDM has almost 100 times wider channel spacing) and the required frequency stability. Due to wider CWDM channels, the number of channels (lambdas) available on the same link is significantly reduced, but the optical interface components do not have to be as precise as DWDM components. CWDM equipment is thus significantly cheaper than DWDM equipment.

Please note that relaxed frequency stability might preclude the use of optical amplifiers, limiting the total CWDM optical span to tens of kilometers.


This was last published in March 2010

Dig Deeper on Telecom Resources



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.