It is anticipated that technological limitations on the number of available wavelengths will necessitate the reuse of wavelengths with all-optical wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) networks. A critical requirement for systems that reuse wavelengths is the ability to effectively shift data from one wavelength to another wavelength, a property which can be used to dynamically reconfigure the system. Some wavelength- shifting schemes are based on nonlinear physical mechanisms such as four-wave mixing or cross-phase modulation, while others are based on cross-gain compression inherent in semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs).1-3 Schemes based on SOA cross-gain compression are appealing because they are simple and can wavelength shift over very wide (~40 nm) wavelength ranges.4 A serious problem associated with cross-gain compression is the reduction of the wavelength-shifted output probe's extinction ratio when shifting the signal to longer wavelengths (up-conversion). This severely limits the cascad-ability of wavelength shifters that are based on this physical mechanism. A second potential problem is that the data polarity between the input pump and output probe is not preserved, because the output probe data is inverted with respect to the input pump. This inversion may require additional overhead within the probe packet header to track the payload's correct polarity.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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