An all-optical wavelength converter with a large wavelength hopping range is proposed and demonstrated. This converter consists of multistage cascaded wavelength converters using semiconductor optical amplifiers each with different gain band. Each of the cascaded wavelength converters enables us to perform both noninverted (NIV) and inverted (IV) operations. Conversion performance is compared at NIV and IV operations in terms of static characteristics as a function of input/output power of the converter. While good conversion performances are achieved at both operations, the IV wavelength conversion has better cascadability to obtain a high-quality converted signal for the cascaded scheme. Moreover, signal amplitude regeneration is demonstrated by repeating the IV wavelength conversion. Finally, we successfully demonstrate, for the first time, ultrawideband wavelength conversion, including over 300-nm wavelength hopping to the shorter wavelength side with a triple-stage cascaded wavelength converter.
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