DWDM Tunable Transceiver

The Tunable DWDM transceiver is a unique product which enables you to set the channel or “color” that the laser emits. This type of transceiver has been around for a number of years but it was not until 2008 that the first tuneable optics were available in the pluggable XFP form factor.

Tunable transceivers are only available in DWDM form because the CWDM grid is too wide. Typically these tunable optics are for the C-Band 50GHz. Around 88 different channels can be set with intervals of 0.4nm, which is the 50GHz band. These optics usually start from channel 16 up to 61 but this depends on the manufacturer of the Router/Switch and which channels it supports.

image of tunable transceiver

Tunable transceivers are typically used as  “spare-optics”, in case of emergency, because you can tune them to the right channel and reduce the amount of spare optics you need to hold in stock. Because these optics employ a special tunable laser, they are between two and four times more expensive than the regular static DWDM optics.

XFP Tunable

The tunable XFP from Cisco is named “XFP-DWDM-C=” and can be tuned from channel 1561.83 to 1530.33. Cisco use a different naming convention for “Channel ID” than is typical for the industry.

Normally the last 2 digits of the THz are for the channel, for example with the naming “194.8THz” the channel is 48. Cisco uses it’s own naming convention which you have to lookup on their website. This tunable optic has a reach of around 80km depending on the fiber quality and the mux type.

The Juniper version is the “XFP-10G-CBAND-T50-ZR” and there are more brands like Alcatel-Lucent, Extreme and Brocade which are offering these optics.

These optics can be tuned in different ways, most high-end devices make it possible to tune over the CLI (command line interface) but not every switch or router is capable of this. For example the ASR9000 and the MX80 can be used for this but the EX4200 series from Juniper does not support this. 

Solid Optics offers offer a Multi-Fiber-Tool which you can use to “re-tune” the optics to the desired channel. Our Multi-Fiber-Tool operates in conjunction with a web interface or Android app.

SFP+ Tunable

The relatively new “SFP+ Tunable” is also now available, but was in development for a few more years due to the limiting power specifications of the SFP+.

These tunable optics are such a new technology that currently, none of the big brand switch/router manufacturers are offering a product where you can change/set the channel over the command line, which is one of the biggest challenges in the tuning of these optics.

Solid Optics has developed a Multi-Fiber-Tool which overcomes this by making it possible to easily tune the transceiver to the desired channel via either your PC/Laptop with a browser as well as via your Android cell-phone which is a completely unique functionality offered only by Solid Optics.

Please contact us for pricing, possibilities, test reports and more information about the DWDM Tunable.