We present the discrete amplification approach used for development of a very high gain and low excess noise factor in
the near infrared wavelength region. The devices have the following performance characteristics: gain > 2X105, excess
noise factor < 1.05, rise time < 350ps, fall time < 500ps and operating voltage < 60V. In the photon counting mode, the
devices can be operated in the non-gated mode under a constant DC bias and do not require any external quenching
circuit. These devices are ideal for researchers in the fields of deep space optical communication, spectroscopy,
industrial and scientific instrumentation, Ladar/Lidar, quantum cryptography, night vision and other military, defense
and aerospace applications.