A desirable feature of all-optical networks is transparency to signal modulation format.1 Subcarrier multiplexing (SCM) offers the advantages of bandwidth allocation flexibility and the possibility of supporting video services, both at a low cost.2 Recently, simultaneous transmission of subcarrier-multiplexed channels and ATM/SONET digital channels was demonstrated.3 Furthermore, network salability adds the need for wavelength reuse when there are a limited number of available wavelengths. A modulation format transparent wavelength shifter with the capability of all-optical wavelength shifting both SCM channels and high-speed digital data is highly desirable for WDM networks [Fig. 1(a)]. Four-wave mixing (FWM) has long been investigated for the wavelength shifting of high-speed digital data.4 Among all wavelength-shifting methods, FWM is the ideal candidate for a format transparent wavelength shifter. In this paper, we report the first demonstration of all-optical wavelength shifting over 1-THz 9-nm for two microwave subcarriers using FWM in a semiconductor optical amplifier with a power penalty as low as 0.5 dB. In our experiment, the RF spectrum is unaffected by wavelength shifting. Such a transparent wavelength shifter is a critical component in wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) networks supporting both SCM channels and high-speed ATM/SONET digital data.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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