NEC Debuts 1.6T DWDM System

TOKYO (06/08/2000) - NEC Corp. has unveiled a new dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) system that promises to be able to squeeze even more bandwidth out of fiber-optic cables.

DWDM is a system that enables multiple signals to travel along the same optical fiber by giving each its own unique light wavelength. Using the technology, optical cables can be made to transmit much more data than is possible with conventional systems and telecommunications carriers are adopting the technology because it saves them the costly task of having to lay more optic fiber.

The new SpectralWave 160, which will be available in late 2000, will be able to support transmission of up to 1.6T bits per second (bps) of data in its initial configuration. Users will be able to configure the unit to support up to 160 OC-192 or OC-48 wavelengths in any combination, said NEC in a statement (an OC-48 wavelength is 2.49G bps and an OC-192 wavelength is 9.96G bps).

An additional multiplexing feature allows for 4 OC-48 wavelengths to be carried inside an OC-192 wavelength to give the system the ability to carry up to 640 OC-48 channels.

The unit is a successor to its existing SpectralWave 64 system, which offers 64 channels and is in use across the U.S., said NEC. The company has also sold previous 32-channel systems to carriers in Japan and China.

Going forward, the Tokyo-based company is already developing a successor to this unit. It said the next version of the product, for release in 2001, that will offer double the capacity of the first version -- a maximum data transmission rate of 3.2T bps.

1T bps is equivalent to 1,000G bps.

NEC, in Tokyo, is online at

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