Micrel of San Jose, Calif., received US Patent No. 6,711,046, “Programmable optical array.” The patent covers a set of programmable semiconductor elements, such as Zener diodes, used in an optical array. The elements are formed on a substrate surface and selectively programmed to create a reflective filament between anode and cathode contacts of the diodes. Light is then applied to the surface. The reflected (or transmitted) light pattern may be used for conveying optical information or exposing a photoresist layer.