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A 2x2 cross/bar optically-driven switch is implemented with a single semiconductor optical amplifier. The switch exploits nonlinear polarization rotation experienced by two input signals in the amplifier in presence of a control pump light. The two input data signals travel in opposite directions inside the amplifier. In absence of the control light, the low-power input signals do not experience nonlinear effects inside the amplifier; when the pump light is applied, both the input data signals experience cross-phase modulation, which reflects in nonlinear polarization rotation for the output signals due to polarization-dependent carriers modulation in the semiconductor amplifier.
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