We propose a photodiode configuration suited for waveguide integration, and top and side illumination. This configuration based on a pair of p‐i‐n photodiodes, laid out alongside of one another, requires only one metallization type, and therefore, reduces the number of technological steps. A waveguide–photodiode integration illustrates this photodetector concept. The single heterostructure waveguide integrated evanescently with this p‐i‐n‐i‐p photodetector exhibits a 19 GHz bandwidth, as a result of the very low (30 fF) capacitance of a 20 μm long detector. Related to its symmetrical features, this p‐i‐n‐i‐p photodetector is a means to improve fabrication yield of integrated optoelectronic devices. © 1996 American Institute of Physics.