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We report on the architecture and experimental characterization of a small-footprint optoelectronic receiver for parallel arrays of optical interconnects. The receiver is designed and fabricated in the 0.5-μm silicon on sapphire CMOS technology. The circuit design exploits the properties of MOS transistors with three different threshold voltages and the insulating substrate to achieve a low-power, high-speed and compact circuit. The design attains a 7-pJ energy per bit transduction cost when operated at 1 Gbit/s data rates.