An Optical Integrated Circuit (OIC) is an integrated circuit of optical components on a substrate. In the early years of OIC development, dating back to the 1960s, hybrid techniques were used and the individual optical components were integrated into an OIC that was mounted on a dielectric substrate.
The hybrid technique of integrated components is characterized by the fact that the different optical components are made of different material. As development progresses, monolithic technology is being adopted because of the lower cost manufacturing processes.
In general, Optical Integrated Circuits involve the integration of a wide variety of analog optical components into a single chip. These analog components include laser diodes as light sources, functional components such as optical switches, optical splitters, optical amplifiers, optocouplers, optical converters, wavelength multiplexers and around photodiodes as optical receivers.
If electronic components are used in an optical integrated circuit, especially for controlling the optical functions, then the chip is an Opto-Electronic Integrated Circuit( OEIC).