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A high‐speed optically addressed spatial light modulator is described which uses the electroclinic effect in chiral smectic A liquid crystals with a p‐i‐n photodiode of hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a‐Si:H). The near microsecond response time is a function of the liquid‐crystal mixture and temperature. We present and analyze optical modulation measurements of a device which exhibits a response time of 40 μs at 29 °C and 4 μs at 50 °C. The optical response is continuous and linear with electric field and write‐light intensity, allowing for grey level applications.