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The effect of strain on the optical nonlinearities and operation of an all‐optical asymmetric Fabry–Perot étalon is investigated. A high reflectivity modulation of 60% is reported with a contrast ratio of 12.2:1 and insertion loss of 1.87 dB. High contrast is achieved through absorption matching requiring a thick active layer. The effect of a thick structure on the strain reduced saturation carrier density is measured. The saturation density is calculated to be a factor of 2.5 less than in a similar GaAs modulator, showing thicker strained devices still display the advantages of thinner structures.