Spectrum-Sliced Source Noise Reduction using a Semiconductor Optical Amplifier

D. Forsyth, I. Evans, and M.J. Connelly (Ireland)


Semiconductor optical amplifier, WDM, spectrum-slicing


Conventional wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) optical communication systems employ semiconductor lasers operating at discrete wavelengths as carriers for the different data channels. Spectrum slicing provides an attractive low-cost alternative by utilizing spectral slices from a single broadband source as the optical carriers. A key drawback of spectrum sliced systems is the inherently high degree of excess intensity noise, which can impose severe limits on achievable system performance. In this paper we investigate the use of non-linear gain compression in a tensile-strained bulk semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) to suppress the excess intensity noise of a spectrum sliced signal from a broadband source. The effects of SOA input power and bias current and the use of a holding laser beam are investigated. System experiments are carried out at 2.5 Gb/s.

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