Abstract This paper proposes a design for all-optical NOR logic gate, based on Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) using quantum-dot semiconductor optical amplifier (QD-SOA). In this regard, a theoretical model for an ultrafast all-optical signal processor is developed using QD-SOA to achieve high bit rate operation. We have demonstrated the NOR gate operation in two cases of with and without an optical control pulse. Simulations have been carried out at data bit rates 160Gb/s, 200Gb/s, and 250Gb/s for the case that control pulse is not applied, and also at data bit rates 1Tb/s and 2Tb/s in presence of control pulse which leads to improvement of gain recovery time and ultrafast NOR logic operation. In addition, quality factors of the output signals in presence and without the control pulse at different bit rates with different bias currents have been investigated for pseudo-random binary sequence (PRBS) of word length 28–1.