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A high-extinction-ratio all-optical wavelength converter using birefringence switching in a semiconductor optical amplifier was demonstrated. The extinction ratio of the data-bearing wavelength-converted signal was improved by 9 dB compared to that of the input signal. The polarization change of the probe light in the presence of the input signal was measured. Bit error rate measurements at 10 Gb/s were performed and a power penalty of 2 dB was observed for the wavelength converter. The polarization sensitivity of the wavelength converter was 0.75 dB.