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In contrast to segmented PSDs, Lateral-Effect PSDs are composed of a single active element in which the photodiode surface resistance is used to determine position. Accurate position information is obtained independent of the light spot intensity profile, symmetry or size. The device response is uniform across the detector aperture, with no dead space, and no problem of having the beam in a single detector segment. Lateral-Effect PSDs are preferred in applications where continuous or fine displacements must be measured in real time.