Simple rules for optimizing asymmetries in SOA-based Mach-Zehnder wavelength converters

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Dailey, James M.
Koch, Thomas L.
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We present an analysis of semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) based differential Mach-Zehnder wavelength converters with a specific focus on optimizing performance through intentional asymmetries in optical power splitting, SOA bias, and interferometer phase bias.   By introducing a simple conceptual framework for understanding the amplifier pulse dynamics, two simple yet effective design rules are derived.  These design rules are validated using pseudo-random code in a comprehensive computer model, demonstrating the performance penalties that result when attempting optimization using only unequal SOA biasing or phase biasing.  This work illustrates that dramatic improvements in extinction and eye margin can be achieved with optimized splitter asymmetries, and has significant implications for improved network performance and converter cascadability.
Optical Frequency Conversion , Optoelectronic devices , Optical Switches , Semiconductor Optical Amplifier
Dailey, J.M., Koch, T.L. (2009) 'Simple Rules for Optimizing Asymmetries in SOA-Based Mach-Zehnder Wavelength Converters'. Journal of Lightwave Technology, 27 (11):1480-1488. doi: 10.1109/JLT.2009.2012875
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