Processing of microwave signals using photonics has several key advantages for applications in wireless communications. However, to bring photonic-based microwave signal processing to the mainstream requires a reduction of the form factor. Integration is a route for achieving high-performance, low-cost, and small-footprint microwave photonic devices. A high on-chip stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) gain is essential for synthesizing several key functionalities for advanced integrated microwave signal processing. We have optimized our on-chip SBS platform to achieve a record on-chip gain of 52 dB. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this giant gain from the viewpoint of new enabled technologies. The giant gain can be distributed over wide frequencies, which can be exploited for the realization of reconfigurable microwave bandpass, bandstop, and multiband filters. High gain also enables the demonstration of low-threshold on-chip lasers, which can be of relevance for a low-noise radio-frequency signal generation. These wide ranges of functionalities are made possible by the breakthrough on-chip gain makes Brillouin-based microwave photonic signal processing a promising approach for real-world implementation in the near future.
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