This work presents a monolithic laterally-coupled wide-spectrum (350 nm < λ < 1270 nm) optical link in a silicon-on-insulator CMOS technology. The link consists of a silicon (Si) light-emitting diode (LED) as the optical source and a Si photodiode (PD) as the detector; both realized by vertical abrupt n+p junctions, separated by a shallow trench isolation composed of silicon dioxide. Medium trench isolation around the devices along with the buried oxide layer provides galvanic isolation. Optical coupling in both avalanche-mode and forward-mode operation of the LED are analyzed for various designs and bias conditions. From both DC and pulsed transient measurements, it is further shown that heating in the avalanche-mode LED leads to a slow thermal coupling to the PD with time constants in the ms range. An integrated heat sink in the same technology leads to a ∼ 6 times reduction in the change in PD junction temperature per unit electrical power dissipated in the avalanche-mode LED. The analysis paves way for wide-spectrum optical links integrated in smart power technologies.