A solution for compensating losses in optical interconnects is provided. Large-core Al2O3:Nd 3+ channel waveguide amplifiers are characterized and tested in combination with passive polymer waveguides. Coupling losses between the two waveguides are investigated in order to optimize the channel geometries of the two waveguide types. A tapered Al2O3:Nd3+ waveguide is designed to improve the pump intensity in the active region. A maximum 0.21-dB net gain at a signal wavelength of 880nm is demonstrated in a structure in which an Al2 O3:Nd3+ waveguide is coupled between two polymer waveguides. The gain can be improved by increasing the pump power and adjusting the waveguide properties of the amplifier. © 2006 IEEE.