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In order to maintain a signal quality and to enhance the robustness of long haul transmission, optical regenerators have been developed and investigated during the last few years. This paper provides a detailed analysis of self-phase modulation (SPM)-based 2R signal regeneration by an analysis of the spectrum of a single pulse. A model is presented to explain the principle of ghost-pulse suppression and amplitude-jitter reduction and to derive design rules to optimize signal regeneration at 40 Gb/s. Finally, the influence of the fiber dispersion on the regeneration is discussed.