An order of magnitude improvement in the specific contact resistance of gold‐based ohmic contacts to p‐type GaInAsP (Eg=1.13 eV) is reported. A novel technique using a silicon susceptor has been employed in a rapid thermal processor. A direct comparison between gold‐based contacts annealed in a conventional furnace and the rapid thermal processor indicated a specific contact resistance of 4.2×10-5 and 4.1×10-6 Ω cm2, respectively. Auger electron spectroscopy, in depth profile mode, revealed two different metallurgical profiles for the conventional furnace and the rapid thermal processor. The rapid thermal processor was successfully implemented in a p‐i‐n optical detector process resulting in a reduction in the device series resistance and improved performance.