18 Channel CWDM Mux/Demux for 10G Network

Updated on Jul 23, 2021

Imagine turning a cottage into a majestic skyscraper without any innovation or construction. This is what Wavelength-Division Multiplexing (WDM) allows with your existing fiber optic network. Without deploying additional optical fiber, WDM network mux multiplexes multiple optical signal on a single optical fiber by using different wavelengths, which greatly relieves fiber exhaustion and extends link capacity. WDM technology comes into two flavors—CWDM and DWDM. In this article, we’re gonna explore building a 10G network on CWDM Mux/Demux.

CWDM Mux/Demux: Save Big With Network Expansion

CWDM Mux/Demux increases fiber capacity in either 4, 8, 16 or 18 channel increments. By increasing the channel spacing between wavelengths on the fiber, CWDM allows for a simple and affordable method of carrying up to 18 channels on a single fiber. CWDM channels each consume 20 nm of space and together use up most of the single-mode operating range. The CWDM wavelengths most commonly used are the eight channels in the 1470 to 1610 nm range. CWDM Mux/Demux allows any protocol to be transported over the link, given it’s at the specific wavelength.


16 Channel vs. 18 Channel CWDM Mux/Demux: Which to Choose?

The capacity of a CWDM network is largely relayed on CWDM Mux/Demux. Generally, the more channels a CWDM Mux/Demux provides, the larger capacity of a CWDM network could have. The channel number of most CWDM Mux/Demuxs ranges from 2 to 18, among which 16 channel and 18 channel CWDM Mux/Demux are more prevalent in use. 16 channel CWDM Mux/Demux and its 18 channel alternative have no difference except that the later obtains two more CWDM channels (CWDM wavelengths), larger capacity and hence more insertion loss. So the choice is not about which is superior than the other, it actually depends on your specific demand and application scenario. Usually a 18 channel CWDM Mux/Demux is recommended for broader network capacity and scalability.

16 channel cwdm mux demux vs. 18 channel

18CH CWDM Mux/Demux Cabling Guide for 10G Network

Build a 10G network with a 18CH CWDM Mux/Demux delivers prominent advantages with reduced cost and improved efficiency. All you need is just 10G switches, 18CH CWDM Mux/Demux modules, 10G CWDM SFP+transceivers (or 10G CWDM XFP, if the switch is with XFP interfaces) and fiber patch cables. The typical architecture of a 10G CWDM network is demonstrated in the picture below. Let’s take a review of the four key elements required for a successful implementation of 10G CWDM network.

10g cwdm network

18 Channel CWDM Mux/Demux Module

A 18 channel CWDM Mux/Demux utilizes all of the 18 CWDM wavelengths defined by standards, which integrates up to 18 different wavelength signals into a single optical fiber. The 18 CWDM wavelength channels are combined together in a multiplexer so that it can be transported simultaneously over a single dark fiber. FS.com passive 18-CH CWDM Mux/Demux is equipped with a monitor port for better CWDM network management.

18 channel cwdm mux demux

10G SFP+ CWDM Transceiver Module

A wavelength specific optical transceiver (SFP, SFP+, XFP, etc) plugged directly in to the data or storage switch. Up to 18 discrete CWDM wavelengths are available and can all be used as independent traffic channels. Each channel can be any variety of 100/40/10/1G Ethernet. FS.com also provides strictly tested 10G CWDM transceivers that fully compatible with the mainstream brands on the market. All the 10G CWDM transceivers are tested in real environment to guarantee best-in-breed performance and reliability. The following diagram presents the generic CWDM SFP+ transceivers for 18 CH CWDM Mux/Demux.

20km CWDM SFP+
40km CWDM SFP+
60km CWDM SFP+
1270 nm
1290 nm
1310 nm
1330 nm
1350 nm
1370 nm
1390 nm
1410 nm
1430 nm
1450 nm
1470 nm
1490 nm
1510 nm
1530 nm
1550 nm
1570 nm
1590 nm
1610 nm

LC-LC Fiber Optic Patch Cable

The transceiver modules and CWDM multiplexer ports are labelled with the discrete wavelength channels. And fiber patch cable, usually an LC-LC patch cable is used to bridge the transceiver and the corresponding channel on the CWDM Mux/Demux. The ports on CWDM Mux/Demux module are colored in the diagram to highlight the different colored wavelength channels. LC-LC fiber patch cables are usually yellow. Besides, there are also specially-made fiber patch cables available for demanding application scenario, including bend insensitive fiber patch cable, switchable uniboot fiber patch cable and ultra low loss LC patch cable.

18-ch-cwdm-mux demux

Line fiber

The “dark fiber” linking the sites or data centers. Without access to a dark fiber there is no opportunity to build a dedicated fiber network.


With the help of 18 channel CWDM Mux/Demux, 10G network has become approachable and affordable with less labor-intensified work and deployment costs. Besides, a CWDM system also enables unsurpassed flexibility to get fully prepared for any capacity expansion in the future. FS.com is one of the featured vendors to provide a complete solution for optical and enterprise network—your vendor of choice for CWDM Mux network, optical transceiver modules, fiber patch cables and other network components.

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