There has been much recent interest in the use of photonics for analog to digital conversion. It is anticipated that the use of photonic analog to digital converters (ADCs) will far surpass the performance of electronic ADCs in terms of both sampling speed and resolution. We have designed a novel photonic ADC module that incorporates the use of semiconductor linear absorbers to perform the data quantization at speeds up to 100 GS/s with 4 bits of resolution. The use of the passive materials in this flash photonic ADC architecture makes this module a candidate for insertion into future space-based platforms. Experimental characterization results will be presented for the semiconductor materials used in the data conversion process.© (2000) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.