Miniaturized ring laser-based gyroscopes show some significant advantages with respect to the optical fiber gyros such as higher reliability, reduced volume and weight. A semiconductor ring laser has been designed with the potential to be fully integrated in a single chip. This device is formed by a circular strip-loaded waveguide having a width of 2 micrometer and diameter of 3 mm. Its configuration is a heterostructure with separate confinement with a single quantum well in GaAs/AlGaAs, emitting at 860 nm. We have determined the following performance: (1) free spectral range: 7.4 GHz; (2) longitudinal spacing between the spectral lines: 0.18 angstrom; (3) merit factor Q: 510000; (4) finesse: 10.9; (5) resonator efficiency: 70%, when interaction length is greater or equal than 450 micrometer; (6) total efficiency: 7.5%; (7) threshold current: 22 mA. This device can be used in miniaturized gyroscopes which are able to detect rotation speed greater than 0.01 rad/s with a sensitivity of 0.01 degree.© (1998) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.