Feature Issue on Optical Interconnection Networks (OIN). Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) are a versatile core technology and the basis for the implementation of a number of key functionalities central to the evolution of highly wavelength-agile all-optical networks. We present an overview of the state of the art of SOAs and summarize a range of applications such as power boosters, preamplifiers, optical linear (gain-clamped) amplifiers, optical gates, and modules based on the hybrid integration of SOAs to yield high-level functionalities such as all-optical wavelength converters/regenerators and small space switching matrices. Their use in a number of proposed optical packet switching situations is also highlighted.
© 2004 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article