The Grating Light Valve (GLV) is a diffractive MOEMS spatial light modulator capable of very high-speed modulation of light combined with fine gray-scale attenuation. GLV-based products are field-proven in a variety of applications. In this paper, we describe the GLV device, its structure, theory of operation, and optical performance. The versatility and speed of the GLV device are described. We explain how the GLV device is integrated into an optical write engine to create a complete digital imaging system. In addition to the MOEMS die and drive electronics, the light engine also comprises illumination optics, Fourier filter, and imaging optics. We present current applications of the GLV device for high-resolution displays, and computer-to-plate printing, as well as future plans for digital imaging applications opened up by the unique properties of this diffractive MOEMS technology.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.