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A high-efficiency noncollinear four-wave mixing in a broad area traveling-wave semiconductor optical amplifier is demonstrated. A key feature of the demonstrated configuration is the ability to isolate generated sidebands from the inputs. A wave-mixing efficiency of +8.2 dB with 22.6 dB of sideband isolation at 6° separation between the two pump beams was obtained. The dependence of the efficiency on pump detuning, separation angle, and probe wavelength was also investigated. Use of a high quality traveling-wave amplifier enabled us to achieve ripple-free broadband operation over 37 nm. The demonstrated configuration is a key to practical implementations of four-wave mixing based devices. © 1997 American Institute of Physics.