Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (Dwdm) And Fiber Optic Technology

1179 words - 5 pages

Dense Wavelength Division MultiplexingThe increased demands on fiber optic networks toward the end of the twentieth century spurred a concern of fiber exhaust. The backbone communications companies such as AT&T, Sprint, and WorldCom, sought an economical alternative to installing new fiber which resulted in the emergence of a new transmission technology called Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM). The development of this new technology enabled companies to meet the macro capacity demands placed on existing networks by increasing data throughput from 2 Gbps to 40 Gbps and increasable to 200Gbps. This provides a widely scalable solution to companies seeking to alleviate their ...view middle of the document...

These carriers offered metropolitan services ranging from residential DSL to corporate high-speed private lines and VPN connections. These smaller carriers relied on the long-haul providers, such as AT&T, from which fault tolerance and high availability was demanded. In order to achieve this degree of availability, failover configurations such as redundancy rings and multiple point-to-point connections had to be made (refer to figure B). Achieving this level of reliability meant reserving dedicated capacity which doubled the need for bandwidth on an already strained infrastructure.These long-haul providers are now in a dilemma. Laying new strands of nationwide fiber to expand their capacity was estimated to cost 60 - 70 thousand per mile. Obviously, this was not feasible. While the traditional TDM system accepts input sources in a round-robin scheme; this method results in inefficiencies where each time slot is reserved regardless of whether or not data is being sent.Another problem with using TDM is the fact that the source signals usually have to be converted to a single bit rate for transmission at a single wavelength. This conversion includes the translation from optical to electrical and back to optical which creates a bottleneck. A new solution was needed--the DWDM system was developed. DWDM on the other hand, increases network capacity by assigning each optical source a wavelength of light within a given frequency band as shown in Figure C. DWDM can also transmit a variety of communications protocols without having to translate them into a common format.While the DWDM system appears to be a technology which will replace all of the installed TDM systems, it is actually designed to enhance the existing data-transfer infrastructure which is based on ATM and SONET networks. The enhancement is made possible because DWDM is a physical layer restructuring of TDM. Additionally, DWDM "allows for dynamic provisioning which enables a service provider to rapidly shift capacity to add bandwidth in response to customer needs" without manual intervention.DWDM - The SystemTo achieve the transfer of data through DWDM a series of factors must work collectively.*A stable light source (laser) that falls within a specific and narrow bandwidth (between 850-2000 nm) must be used.*The DWDM system employs multiplexers to combine signals.oBecause of inherent physical properties there is some loss of light.*Optical amplifiers are strategically placed to help...

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