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The past ten years have witnessed a dramatic growth in the delivery of high bandwidth services through Passive Optical Networks (PONs), directly to the home or to the kerb. The bursty nature of upstream traffic in a PON (from the user to Optical Network Unit, ONU) combined with a wide dynamic range of signal strength (-15 dB to -28 dB the difference between a very close Optical Network Terminal (ONT) with a small split ratio and a distant ONT with a high split ratio), places severe demands on the burst mode receiver at the ONU. We report here on an adjustable gain-clamped semiconductor optical amplifier (AGC-SOA) designed to maximize the output saturated power while adjusting gain to regulate the power differences between packets without loss of linearity. This device is shown to be able to modulate gain at rates that are compatible with packet to packet equalisation. Through theoretical analysis coupled with experimental verification, this paper demonstrates for the first time that this is entirely feasible.
Date of Conference: 26-30 June 2011