Since the invention of the silicon drift detector by Gatti and Rehak in 1983, a large variety of new detector structures basing on the principle of sideward depletion was developed. Those detectors have expanded their initial fields of applications in high energy physics, astrophysics, and synchrotron radiation research. They are now a mature technology and open many new industrial applications. Experiments in basic research have driven the performance parameters toward the optimum for the specific applications: high quantum efficiency, excellent energy resolution, high radiation tolerance, good position resolution, high speed, large and cosmetic defect free devices, homogeneous response to the full bandwidth of radiation, and high background rejection efficiency. It will be the aim of future developments to reach the physical limits in radiation detection and to breathe in additional intelligence into the local detector systems to face the steadily increasing amount of data and power dissipation.

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