Fast wavelength-tunable semiconductor lasers will be the key components in future optical packet switching networks. Especially, they are of great importance in the optical network nodes: transmitters, optical wavelength-routers, etc. In this paper, a new scheme of a next-generation fast tunable ring laser was given. Tunable lasers in this design have better wavelength tunability compared with others, for they are switched faster in wavelength and simpler to control with the injecting light from an external distributed Bragg-reflector(DBR). Then some discussion of the waveguide material system and coupler design of the ring laser were given. And we also derived the multimode rate equations corresponding to this scheme by analyzing some characteristics of the semiconductor ring cavity, directionality, nonlinear mode competition, optical injection locking, etc. We did MatLab simulation based on the new rate equations to research the process of mode competition and wavelength switching in the laser, and achieved the basic functions of a tunable laser. Finally some discussion of the impact of several key parameters was given.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.