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What are main advantages and drawbacks of EDFAs?

June 1, 2016

The main advantages and drawbacks of EDFAs are as follows.


  • Commercially available in C band (1,530 to 1,565 nm) and L band (1,560 to 1,605) and up to  84-nm range at the laboratory stage.
  • Excellent coupling: The amplifier medium is an SM fiber;
  • Insensitivity to light polarization state;
  • Low sensitivity to temperature;
  • High gain: > 30 dB with gain flatness < ±0.8 dB and < ±0.5 dB in C and L band, respectively, in the scientific literature and in the manufacturer documentation
  • Low noise figure: 4.5 to 6 dB
  • No distortion at high bit rates;
  • Simultaneous amplification of wavelength division multiplexed signals;
  • Immunity to crosstalk among wavelength multiplexed channels (to a large extent)


  • Pump laser necessary;
  • Difficult to integrate with other components;
  • Need to use a gain equalizer for multistage amplification;
  • Dropping channels can give rise to errors in surviving channels:dynamic control of amplifiers is  necessary.

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