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Intrinsic large signal rise and fall times of less than 30 ps without charge storage demonstrate the potential of single and dual gate GaAs MESFETs for Gbit/s optical communication systems. The applications as signal regenerator, bit synchronizer, laser modulator, multiplexer, and demultiplexer are shown. Using only one dual gate GaAs MESFET clock and pulse shape regeneration as well as 1 Gbit/s laser modulation is performed. Bit synchronization is demonstrated up to 4 Gbit/s. 1 to 2 Gbit/s and 2 to 4 Gbit/s multiplexing as well as 2 to 1 Gbit/s demultiplexing with additional clock and pulse shape regeneration is shown using dual gate FETs. 2 to 4 Gbit/s multiplexing without clock regeneration is also accomplished using single gate GaAs MESFETs.