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Fiber WDM

Author : Date : 12/30/2012 11:06:20 PM

WDM corresponds to the scheme in which multiple optical carriers at different wavelengths are modulated by using independent electrical bit streams (which may themselves use TDM and FDM techniquesin the electrical domain) andare then transmitted over the same fiber. The optical signal at the receiver is demultiplexed into separate channels by using an optical technique. WDM has the potential for exploiting the large bandwidth offered by optical fibers. For example, hundreds of 10-Gb/s channels can be transmitted over the same fiber when channel spacing is reduced to below 100 GHz. If the OH peak can be eliminated using “dry” fibers, the total capacity of a WDM system can ultimately exceed 30 Tb/s.


The concept of WDM has been pursued since the first commercial lightwave system became available in 1980. In its simplest form, WDM was used to transmit two channels in different transmission windows of an optical fiber. For example, an existing 1.3-µm lightwave system can be upgraded in capacity by adding another channel near 1.55 µm, resulting in a channel spacing of 250 nm. Considerable attention was directed during the 1980s toward reducing the channel spacing, and multichannel systems with channel spacing of less than 0.1 nm had been demonstrated by 1990. However, it was during the decade of the 1990s that WDM systems were developed most aggressively. Commercial WDM systems first appeared around 1995, and their total capacity exceeded 1.6 Tb/s by the year 2000. Several laboratory experiments demonstrated in 2001 a system capacity of more than 10 Tb/s although the transmission distance was limited to below 200 km. Clearly, the advent of WDM has led to a virtual revolution in designing lightwave systems.