Optical Filters in IoT Interconnectivity

The Internet of Things (IoT) is common everywhere, from households to industrial environments, allowing “smart” device behavior.

As a result of an environmental factor or from information offered by particular data analysis, a smart device uses sensors to alter its behavior. Smart heating and lighting systems have huge potential to reduce waste, provide improved building efficiencies, and enhance quality control in manufacturing.1

A few of the considerations for optical components in datacoms applications include compactness, maintenance of data integrity, and considerations regarding the bandwidth that needs transmission.

IoT applications have demanded a high degree of interconnectivity, therefore, preventing cross-talk between channels while retaining high bandwidth communication is necessary.

Optical filters are optical components that have been specifically developed to avoid the transmission of undesirable optical frequencies. There are various kinds of optical filters, varying from etalon filters, notch filters, and bandpass filters.

Optical filter design is vital to guaranteeing ideal performance for IoT and datacoms applications. A few main considerations are passband range, hence, what frequencies require to be passed or blocked; what level of contrast between blocked and unblocked regions are needed; and how sharp any filter window onsets needs to be. 

Optical filters are one method of obtaining ideal performance in datacoms applications and a crucial way of assisting in filtering the output of fibers, so only the right frequencies are detected. Optical filters play a vital role in decreasing the noise on measurements and guaranteeing that the preferred signal has been detected.

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The Role Optical Filters Play in IoT

Obtaining real-time data monitoring and analytics to benefit from the efficiency savings provided by IoT technologies implies transferring and processing large data streams quickly.

The difficulty of this issue and the technological demands increase with the number of interconnected devices. For complex operations, such as production lines, several sensors and feedback systems frequently need to be combined into the IoT system, creating a specifically challenging use case.

For a highly connected IoT datacoms system, data integrity, transfer speeds, and bandwidth capability are fundamental. For local IoT installations with data centers and exchanges, transfer speeds are usually the most vital aspect for operating truly real-time feedback.

As far as optical fiber systems are concerned, achieving such high-performance datacoms requires numerous optical filters to shape the spectral information as needed.

One of the chief technologies in IoT interconnectivity and datacoms is wavelength multiplexing, where several signals are transmitted over multiple wavelength ranges to increase the amount of data that could be transferred.

Based on the channels’ density, the wavelength spacings between channels could be very small so it is significant that the central wavelengths are well-preserved via the use of filters.

Broadband optical filters are utilized in wavelength division multiplexing to transmit the selected wavelength channels of interest. Their central frequency is tuned to the specific transmission channels.

Normal frequency ranges include the O, C, and L ranges. In highly congested data centers, compactness and form factor may also be a consideration for optical component design.


  1. Jia, M., Komeily, A., Wang, Y., & Srinivasan, R. S. (2019). Adopting Internet of Things for the development of smart buildings: A review of enabling technologies and applications. Automation in Construction, 101(July 2018), pp. 111–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.autcon.2019.01.023.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Iridian Spectral Technologies.

For more information on this source, please visit Iridian Spectral Technologies.


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