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Silica planar waveguide echelle grating demultiplexers with 48 channels and 256 channels are described and demonstrated. Polarization effects due to stress birefringence and polarization-dependent grating efficiency have been eliminated using a modified polarization compensator and grating design. The devices have a polarization-dependent wavelength shift of less than 10 pm, and a polarization-dependent loss below 0.2 dB. The 48-channel device has a measured crosstalk of -35 dB, an insertion loss better than 4 dB, and a uniformity of 1 dB across the C-band.