The all-optical signal processing performance of devices based on active semiconductor waveguides is investigated. A large signal model is used to analyse the physical mechanisms limiting the high-speed performance of both semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) and electro-absorption modulators (EAMs). Wavelength conversion and signal regeneration in EAMs is discussed at 10 and 40 Gbit/s. The finite carrier sweep-out time is shown to limit the EAM performance. Four-wave mixing (FWM) in SOAs is almost instantaneous. However, with increasing bit rates and advanced processing functionalities some limitations arise. These limitations are elucidated by studying bi-directional simultaneous clear and drop (de-multiplexing) for a 4x40 Gbit/s signal. The simultaneous clearing and de-multiplexing (drop) of an optical time division multiplexing signal channel for an 8x40 Gbit/s signal is investigated in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer. The finite response time of the SOAs is found to limit the base bit rate to 40 Gbit/s. Base bit rates above 40 Gbit/s will require an improved device design with faster material response.
|Journal||Trends in Optics and Photonics Series|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|