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A simple and comprehensive modeling approach is developed for analyzing the frequency response of segmented traveling-wave optical modulators. The approach is based on the microwave transmission (ABCD) matrix theory. The case study for a GaAs traveling-wave Mach-Zehnder modulator (MZM) verifies this analysis approach with excellent agreement to the reported experimental results; the analyses for the quantum-well-based MZMs and electroabsorption modulators indicate that the segmented traveling-wave design can provide much better bandwidth than the lumped-element or the continuous-traveling-wave counterparts, with a few decibels penalty in the electrical-to-optical (E/O) conversion gain if low-loss optical waveguides are available. Meandered transmission line design, which provides more design freedom, is also analyzed using this modeling approach.