Phase modulation schemes are attracting much interest for use in ultra-fast optical communication systems because they are much less affected by fiber nonlinearities than conventional modulation formats. Semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) can be used to amplify and process phase modulated signals. However, existing SOA nonlinear phase noise (NLPN) models are simplistic and, sometimes, inaccurate. It is, therefore, important to correctly model their behavior since NLPN is the main drawback in these applications. In this paper we show that a more accurate model can be used leading to simple nonlinear noise expressions at the SOA output of differential phase shift keying systems. To demonstrate the utility of this model, we have used it to calculate the optical signal to noise ratio penalties introduced by a power booster SOA and the first inline amplifier of a 40 Gb/s NRZ-DQPSK single channel link. The model parameters have been estimated from measurements taken of a commercial SOA.
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