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Difference Between Single vs Dual Fiber Optical Transceivers

1-From the appearance:

They differ in the number of ports. The dual type has two ports, while the single type has just one.

2-About wavelength:

Dual fiber optical transceivers use the same wavelength on two fibers. It has two distinct channels or ports, TX is used for transmission and RX for reception.
Single fiber optical transceivers use one fiber to transmit and receive data. So it is bidirectional (BIDI) and usually used in pairs. For example: TX1310nm/RX1550nm  TX1550nm/RX1310nm.

3-Application in data rate:

Single fiber optical transceivers are normally used for short distance transmission from 100M to 10G and few in 40G/100G; dual fiber optical transceivers has a wide range which chose by most people.

Number of Fibers:

  • Single Fiber (BIDI): Utilizes a single optical fiber for both transmitting and receiving data. Achieves bidirectional flow through Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), where different wavelengths are used for transmit and receive signals.

  • Dual Fiber: Employs two separate optical fibers, one dedicated to transmitting and the other for receiving data. Offers a simpler design and potentially higher signal strength.


  • Single Fiber: Generally more expensive due to the complex WDM technology involved.

  • Dual Fiber: Usually less expensive because of the simpler design and lack of WDM technology.

Transmission Distance:

  • Single Fiber: Typically shorter reach compared to dual fiber, ranging from 2km to 120km, depending on the specific module.

  • Dual Fiber: Generally offers longer transmission distances, reaching up to 160km for single-mode fibers and longer distances for multimode fibers.


  • Single Fiber: Requires more complex technology and careful configuration due to WDM.

  • Dual Fiber: Offers simpler setup and deployment due to dedicated transmit and receive fibers.


  • Single Fiber: Suitable for cost-sensitive deployments with shorter distances, ideal for point-to-point connections within buildings or campuses.

  • Dual Fiber: More common for long-distance applications, data center interconnects, and high-performance networks requiring higher signal strength and flexibility.

Other Considerations:

  • Power Consumption: Single fiber modules might have slightly higher power consumption due to WDM.

  • Future-proofing: Dual fiber offers more flexibility for future upgrades using the same infrastructure.

  • Availability: Dual fiber modules may be more readily available and have wider vendor options.

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