This chapter provides an overview of considerations for the development of semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA) for the next generations of packet-switched optical networks. SOA devices are suitable candidates in order to realize high-performance optical gates due to their high extinction ratio and fast switching time. However such devices also introduce linear and nonlinear noise. The impact of SOA devices on several modulation formats via theoretical model, numerical simulation, and experimental validation is studied. Impairments introduced by SOAs are considered in order to derive some general network design rules.
Part of the book: Some Advanced Functionalities of Optical Amplifiers