Difference between Optical Repeater vs Optical Amplifier

This page compares Optical Repeater vs Optical Amplifier and mentions functional difference between Optical Repeater and Optical Amplifier.

As we know when signal travels along a wire or in the air from source to the destination, the signal is changed or distorted by the path conditions. This results into signal attenuation or energy loss.

In the wire, this is result of L, R and C components of the wire over which electrical signal is travelling. In the optic world, this is result of absorption and scattering of light signal when it travels over fibre cable.

Other than the attenuation, noise gets added across the path. Due to this it is difficult to decode the information transmitted over the cable.

Optical Repeater vs Optical Amplifier

Hence Amplifiers or Repeaters are needed across the distance between source and destination.

Optical Amplifier

• The Amplifier which amplifies Optical Signal is referred as Optical Amplifier.
• Amplifier amplifies the distorted signal. Due to this noise signal also gets amplified which is already superimposed while travelling over path.
• This amplified distorted signal gets further distorted when it travels over the path till it reaches destination. This is because noise amplified gets further distorted.
• It is fine to employ optical amplifier when path distance is smaller between transmitter and receiver.
• Optical Amplifiers are placed at shorter distances over the path.
Refer Optical Amplifier➤.

Optical Repeater

• It receives the optical signal in electrical form. It perfoms reshaping and amplification operations on the signal before re-transmission. This device is referred as Optical Repeater.
•  In optical repeater signal is re-constructed and later amplified. This will result in less signal distortion due to noise and other distortion components.
• Optical Repeaters are placed at longer distances over the path compare to optical amplifiers.

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