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Disclosed is the design of a high speed two-dimensional optical beam position detector which outputs the X and Y displacement and total intensity linearly. The experimental detector measures the displacement from DC to 123 MHz and the intensity of an optical spot in a similar way as a conventional quadrant photodiode detector. The design uses four discrete photodiodes and simple dedicated optics for the position decomposition which enables higher spatial accuracy and faster electronic processing than conventional detectors. Measurements of the frequency response and the spatial sensitivity demonstrate high suitability for atomic force microscopy, scanning probe data storage applications, and wideband wavefront sensing. The operation principle allows for position measurements up to 20 GHz and more in bandwidth.