We investigate the benefits of employing a saturated semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) to reduce the optical noise in an incoherent light optical code division multiple access (OCDMA) system. In the context of spectrum slicing, SOA-based noise suppression has shown significant potential in enhancing the signal quality of noisy light. In this paper, we evaluate the viability of the technique for spectral amplitude coded OCDMA and show that the benefits of SOA-based noise suppression do not extend readily to this application due to post-SOA optical-filtering effects at the receiver. However, appreciable performance improvements can in principle be realized through optimized system and decoder design.
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