An optical receiver for short-range optical data communication up to 40 Gb/s is presented. The optimum number of limiting amplifier (LA) stages is calculated to achieve a large gain-band-width product. The receiver features an electrical transimpedance gain of 91.4 dBΩ and a bandwidth of 19.2 GHz. For the free-space optical measurements (λ=1550nm) an InGaAs/InP photo diode (PD) and the CMOS receiver chip were placed and bonded on a test substrate. At 40 Gb/s an open eye at the output of the receiver is shown at an optical input power of -4.6 dBm. Including the transmitter non-idealities, sensitivities at 20 Gb/s and 30 Gb/s of -8.2 dBm and -7.5 dBm, respectively, at a BER = 10e-12 were measured. The complete receiver consumes 56 mW from a 1.1-V supply and occupies a chip area of 230 µm x 220 µm only.