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High Efficiency, Broadband, Wavelength Conversion by Four-Wave Mixing in Semiconductor Traveling-Wave Amplifiers

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Wavelength conversion is recognized as an important function in future broadband multichannel lightwave systems [1], and several types of wavelength converters have been demonstrated, which can be broadly classified into those which use cross-saturation of gain and those which employ four-wave mixing (FWM) [2]-[7]. Various limitations, however, are inherent with most of these wavelength conversion techniques. Cross-saturation techniques are limited to strong input signals that employ ASK modulation at rates within the spontaneous rate. Among FWM based techniques, cavity-enhanced FWM in semiconductor lasers requires matching of input channels to the laser cavity resonances and speed is limited to a few Gb/s, corresponding to the resonance bandwidth. Wavelength converters based on FWM in dispersion-shifted fiber require long fiber lengths (10 km) to achieve sufficient conversion efficiencies.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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