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The major drawback of incoherent Broadband Sources (BBSs) is their inherent intensity noise. Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs) can be exploited at the transmitter to mitigate this noise. Optical filtering at the receiver, however, leads to the return of most of suppressed noise. Wider filtering at the receiver is the best known strategy to maintain performance gains, at the price of reduced spectral efficiency due to the tradeoff between noise cleaning and adjacent channel crosstalk. The paper introduces a novel balanced receiver for Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) systems that maintains greater noise cleaning and leaves spectral efficiency unchanged. Unlike standard receivers, the balanced scheme does not filter the desired signal.
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