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Wavelength and Transmission Distance of Optical Transceiver Modules

The transmission distance of optical transceiver modules is divided into short distance, medium distance, and long distance. Usually, short-distance transmission refers to a transmission distance of less than 2km, and medium-distance is 10-20km. Transmission distances greater than or equal to 30km are considered long-distance transmissions. The three most commonly used wavelengths of light in fiber optics are 850nm, 1310nm, and 1550nm. These wavelengths have longer waveforms, resulting in less fiber attenuation, and they have nearly zero absorption, making them ideal for fiber transmission. Based on the analysis of commonly used wavelengths in optical transceiver modules, it is easy to conclude that for general short-distance transmissions within 500m, 850nm wavelength is usually used. We offer products of good quality with transceiver modules compatibility matrix. For distances of 500m to 20km, 1310nm wavelength is commonly used. For 20-40km, either 1310nm or 1550nm can be chosen. For distances ≥40km, 1550nm wavelength is commonly used. Below are the characteristics of several commonly used wavelengths.

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This wavelength is used for multi-mode communication, and attenuation is relatively high. The price of the optical sources and signal converters that are paired with 850nm optical transceiver modules is far lower than the prices of 1310nm and 1550nm devices, making it a very economical way of communication. Therefore, multi-mode fiber mostly uses 850nm wavelength optical transceiver modules for connection and transmission. Under 850nm wavelength, 100Mbps optical transceiver modules can transmit up to 2km, 1Gbps can transmit up to 550m, 10Gbps can transmit up to 300m, 40Gbps can transmit up to 400m, and 100Gbps/400Gbps can transmit up to 100m. And if you are interest in 400g optical module, please contact us.


The attenuation of fiber for 1310nm is about 0.35dB/km. The maximum transmission distance for multi-mode is 2km, and single-mode can transmit up to 40km. Under 1310nm wavelength, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps, 40Gbps, and 100Gbps optical transceiver modules can transmit up to 40km, and 400Gbps optical transceiver modules can transmit up to 500m.


The attenuation of fiber for 1550nm is relatively small, about 0.19dB/km. Therefore, with the same power, 1550nm wavelength can transmit farther than 1310nm wavelength. Under 1550nm wavelength, 100Mbps and 1Gbps optical transceiver modules can transmit up to 160km, and 10Gbps optical transceiver modules can transmit up to 80km. (For distances greater than or equal to 40km, 40Gbps and 100Gbps optical transceiver modules usually use CWDM or DWDM.)

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