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The physical layer scalability of multistage interconnection networks is determined by the maximum number of internal switching nodes that packets can traverse error-free. We show that for nodes based on commercial semiconductor optical amplifier switches with polarization-dependent gain of less than 0.35 dB, the maximum number of cascaded nodes could vary by as much as 20 nodes, depending both on the packet wavelength and its state of polarization. We explain such a dramatic effect by opticaldoi:10.1109/lpt.2006.877628 fatcat:n7ncvwbksbey7jb5mxyzybrcvi