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The issues necessary to achieve high ground state modal gain and high T/sub 0/ value are addressed. It is found that the modal gain and the T/sub 0/ value can be increased simultaneously. Three different ways to improve the modal gain and T/sub 0/ value are discussed. Additionally, it is pointed out that the low threshold current density of QD lasers, is due primarily to "physical scaling" rather than any quantum effect. The performance tradeoffs occur between the threshold current density and the ground state modal gain and T/sub 0/ value. QD lasers with InAs/In/sub x/Ga/sub 1-x/As dots-in-a-well (DWELL) structure are used.