Photonic millimeter wave (mm-wave) signal generation employing a differential Mach-Zehnder modulator (DMZM) and a semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) is proposed and evaluated by simulations. Optimization design and performance analysis of the scheme are conducted via simulations. This paper presents the theoretical study of the generation of copolarized dual-pump with locked phase and optical mm-wave signal, the propagation of the optical mm-wave signal in single mode fiber (SMF). The effect of SOA and the input optical signal on the mm-wave generation and transmission is investigated by means simulations. Simulation results present useful insights for the practicality of photonic mm-wave signal generation and distribution in the next-generation access network.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.