Multi-wavelength laser sources capable of generating picosecond pulses are important for high-speed WDM-TDM optical networks.1 Recently, it has also been recognized that a time and wavelength-interleaved optical pulse sources can be used advantageously in photonic analogue to digital converters (ADCs) to significantly increase their sampling rates.2,3,4 To date, multi-wavelength pulse generation has been realized using individually modulated laser diode array,3 spectral slicing of femtosecond pulses,1 and mode-locked semiconductor amplifier fiber ring lasers.5,6 With a special spatial mask, the generation of 20 wavelength channels with each channel transmitting 12 ps pulses at 600 MHz has also been demonstrated in a modelocked external cavity semiconductor laser.7 In this paper, we report the generation of 4 switching-wavelength picosecond pulses from a harmonically mode-locked SOA based fiber laser with a dispersion-managed cavity. The single mode wavelength-switching pulse train has been achieved at an operating frequency of 4 GHz.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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