A silicon p-channel metal oxide semiconductor field-effect transistor (Si-PMOSFET) that is fully compatible with the standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor process is investigated based on the phenomenon of optical radiation observed in the reverse-biased p–n junction in the Si-PMOSFET device. The device can be used either as a two-terminal silicon diode light-emitting device (Si-diode LED) or as a three-terminal silicon gate-controlled diode light-emitting device (Si gate-controlled diode LED). It is seen that the three-terminal operating mode could provide much higher power transfer efficiency than the two-terminal operating mode. A new solution based on the concept of a theoretical quantum efficiency model combined with calculated results is proposed for interpreting the evidence of light intensity reduction at high operating voltages. The Si-LED that can be easily integrated into CMOS fabrication process is an important step toward optical interconnects.