As silicon CMOS circuit technology is scaled beyond the GHz range, both chipmakers and board makers face increasingly difficult challenges in implementing high speed metal interconnects. Metal traces are limited in density-speed performance due to the skin effect, electrical conductivity, and cross talk. Optical based interconnects have higher available bandwidth by virtue of the extremely high carrier frequencies of optical signals (> 100 THz). For this work, an effort has been made to determine an optimal optical tap receiver design for integration with commercial CMOS processes. Candidate waveguide tap technologies were considered in terms of optical loss, bandwidth, economy, and CMOS process compatibility. A new device, which is based on a variation of the multimode interference effect, has been found to be especially promising. BeamProp simulation results show nearly zero excess optical loss for the design, and up to 70% coupling into a 25 micrometer traveling wave CMOS photodetector device. Single-mode waveguides make the design readily compatible with wavelength multiplexing/demultiplexing elements. Polymer waveguide materials are targeted for fabrication due to planarization properties, low cost, broad index control, and poling abilities for modulation/tuning functions. Low cost, silicon CMOS based processing makes the new tap technology especially suitable for computer chip and board level interconnects, as well as metro fiber-to-the- home/desk telecommunications applications.