We show for the first time that signal processing schemes based on noncoherent signal addition will require signal transfer characteristics exhibiting high degrees of curvature. We quantify this by proposing a set of single-input, dual-output, power-conserving transfer functions and generating designs based on these characteristics. We then analyze the sensitivity of such a design scheme to nonidealities in the signal level and device behavior,and show that a sampling operation is only possible for transfer characteristics with residual"low"output of less than about 10% and low intensity reflectivity higher than 98%. For single device signal loss of up to 0.1 dB,we show that the best possible crosstalk-to-noise ratio in a packet forwarder (27 dB), is limited by the availibility of the sampling operation.


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