Increase in optical transmission capacity pushes the throughput requirements of optical cross-connects to be used in all-optical networks. A method, based on the connection symmetry of the network, which reduces the gate count in an OXC has previously been proposed. In order to obtain the gate reduction it is required that the switching elements in the OXC can operate in a bi-directional configuration. Semiconductor optical amplifiers are key elements for fast loss-less optical switching systems. In this paper we report the feasibility of bi-directional gating in a semiconductor optical amplifier. Two 10 Gb/s signals were simultaneously gated bi-directionally in an SOA with less than 2.5 dB of penalty.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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