Intel's avalanche photodetector breakthrough represents the first time that a silicon photonic device beats an equivalent made from traditional optical materials. Avalanche photodetectors are optical devices that sense light and amplify signals. Intel's silicon-based avalanche photodetector has the highest gain-bandwidth product ever seen (340 GHz). The gain-bandwidth product is a standard measure for APD performance that multiplies the device's amplification capability (gain) by the fastest speed signal that can be detected (bandwidth). This means that Intel's new APD device has the capability to detect signals at higher speeds and lower power levels than commercial APDs today. This breakthrough creates the possibility of using APDs for 40 Gbps optical communication links.