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Practical limitations on optical amplifier performance

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A number of recent publications1-4 have been devoted to investigations of semiconductor laser amplifiers for use as preamplifiers and linear repeaters in optical communication systems. The purpose of the study reported here is to determine whether a semiconductor laser preamplifier can offer a useful reduction in minimum detectable power (MDP) when compared with PIN-FET detectors operating at 1.5 μm. Both theoretical and practical values of MDP with an optical amplifier are calculated for maintenance of a 10-9 BER with NRZ data at 140 Mbit/sec and 1 Gbit/sec. These results are compared with those for 1.5-μm PIN-FET receivers, reported to have MDPs of —45 and —32.5 dBm (Ref. 5) at 140 Mbit/sec and 1 Gbit/sec, respectively.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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