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Mode-locked lasers (MLLs) and semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) based on quantum-dot (QD) gain material will impact the development of next-generation networks, such as the 100 Gb/s Ethernet. MLLs presently consisting of a monolithic two-section device already generate picosecond pulse trains at 40 GHz. Temperature dependence of pulsewidth for p-doped devices, a detailed chirp analysis that is a prerequisite for optical time-division multiplexing applications, and data transmission experiments are presented in this paper. QD SOAs show superior performance for linear amplification as well as nonlinear signal processing. Using cross-gain modulation for wavelength conversion, QD SOAs are shown to have a small signal bandwidth beyond 40 GHz under high-bias current injection. This makes QD SOAs much superior to conventional SOAs.