We demonstrate novel optical signal processing functions based on self-induced nonlinear polarization rotation in a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). Numerical and experimental results are presented, which demonstrate that a nonlinear polarization switch can be employed to achieve all-optical logic. We demonstrate an all-optical header processing system, an all-optical seed pulse generator for packet synchronization, and an all-optical arbiter that can be employed for optical buffering at a bit rate of 10 Gb/s. Experimental results indicate that optical signal processing functions based on self-polarization rotation have a higher extinction ratio and a lower power operation compared with similar functions based on self-phase modulation.
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