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We demonstrate that the cross-gain compression (XGC) in a semiconductor optical amplifier can produce effective return to zero (RZ)-to-nonreturn to zero (NRZ) format conversion. This technique is experimentally investigated at 10 and 40 Gbit/s. At 10 Gbit/s, the format adaptation allows for a very high pulsewidth increase, i.e., from 10 to 100 ps. The output 10 Gbit/s NRZ signal is transmitted on metro-like links with no chromatic dispersion compensation.