Tunable DWDM transceivers are widely used in the data communications and networking industry. Unlike conventional or standard modules, Tunable modules are used in dynamic network environments where future changes cannot be ruled out so as to be able to absorb network dynamics.
Tunable transceivers are therefore the first choice for those operating a large DWDM network with multiple nodes. Let's assume that up to 80 different wavelengths are to be used. In this case, a large stock of spare parts would be needed to promptly replace a defective fixed wavelength transceiver with a new one in case of equipment failure. Tunable transceivers are a good solution for better inventory management in such cases. A single Tunable Transceiver can be kept in stock as a spare part for almost any fixed wavelength optical transceiver. This reduces the overall cost of stocking spare parts.
In the 10G range, Tunable Transceivers are offered for this purpose as SFP+ and XFP, and in the 100/200/400G range as CFP/CFP2 form factor.
Types of tunable transceivers
There are two common types of Tunable Transceivers, which we would like to introduce here:
Tunable XFP Transceivers
Tunable XFP transceivers work with an integrated adjustable C-band transmitter and a powerful receiver. This allows these modules to be configured to operate at any wavelength in the 50 GHz DWDM grid. When using single-mode fiber, Tuneable XFP transceivers can cover distances of up to 80 km.
Tunable SFP+ Transceiver
Tunable SFP+ transceivers belong to the serial optical devices and have full duplex capability. A single housing contains both the transmitter and the receiver of these modules, enabling a high-speed serial connection with signal transmission rates between 9.95 Gbps and 11.3 Gbps. In terms of distances to be bridged, tunable SFP+ transceivers are just as effective as tunable XFP transceivers.
Tunable modules & costs
Indeed, tunable modules cost more than fixed wavelength modules. But the investment is worth it. With these modules, the cost of spare parts inventory can be effectively reduced and dynamic networks can be operated in a cost-saving manner.
- extensive tuning range (wavelength)
- compatible transceivers from 10G to 400G
- simplified spare parts stocking
- software adjustable wavelength
- high cost efficiency in the long term
Tunable DWDM transceivers are designed to operate at customer-specific and dynamically changing wavelengths. Despite the higher initial costs compared to modules with fixed wavelengths, tunable transceivers quickly prove to be advantageous in large DWDM networks. In this way, sometimes up to hundreds of fixed wavelength transceivers can be replaced by just one tunable transceiver.