Definition

dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM)

Contributor(s): Herschel Salan and David Williams

Dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) is a technology that puts data from different sources together on an optical fiber, with each signal carried at the same time on its own separate light wavelength. Using DWDM, up to 80 (and theoretically more) separate wavelengths or channels of data can be multiplexed into a lightstream transmitted on a single optical fiber.

Each channel carries a wave division multiplexed (WDM) signal. WDM is a method of combining multiple signals on laser beams at various infared (IRwavelengths for transmission along fiber optic media. In a system with each channel carrying 2.5 Gbps (billion bits per second), up to 200 billion bits can be delivered a second by the optical fiber.

Since each channel is demultiplexed at the end of the transmission back into the original source, different data formats being transmitted at different data rates can be transmitted together. Specifically, Internet (IP) data, Synchronous Optical Network data (SONET), and asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) data can all be travelling at the same time within the optical fiber.

DWDM promises to solve the fiber exhaust problem and is expected to be the central technology in the all-optical networks of the future.

Coarse wavelength division multiplexing (CWDM) is an alternative method of combining multiple signals on laser beams at various wavelengths for transmission along fiber optic cables, such that the number of channels is fewer than in DWDM but more than in standard WDM.

This was last updated in March 2017

Continue Reading About dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM)

Dig Deeper on Optical Networks

PRO+

Content

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

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.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchCloudComputing

SearchCloudProvider

Close