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The femtosecond nonlinear gain dynamics in semiconductor laser amplifiers were used for the 3.8 THz frequency conversion of 30 ps pulses by four-wave mixing. The experiments demonstrate that the ultrafast time regime associated with the nonlinear gain dynamics in a semiconductor laser amplifier (SLA) may be used for the frequency conversion of picosecond optical pulses. The four-wave mixing arrangement also offers the potential to operate as an optically switched optical gate. Consequently, the experiments elucidate the feasibility of operating the SLA as an ultrafast optical gate.