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We present a theoretical model for gain and noise saturation in quantum dash (QDash) semiconductor optical amplifiers. The model is based on the density matrix formalism and addresses static saturation spectra. The calculations are confirmed by a series of experiments which highlight the unique properties of these amplifiers. We demonstrate a high gain, a wide bandwidth, and high saturation power. The saturation spectrum is shown to be asymmetric, emphasizing saturation at short wavelength. The asymmetry stems from the high energy tail of the density of state function in those quantum wire (QWire) like gain media as well as from the interactions with the wetting layer.