Plasmonics has conventionally been in the realm of metal-optics. However, conventional metals as plasmonic elements in the near-infrared (NIR) and visible spectral ranges suffer from problems such as large losses and incompatibility with semiconductor technology. Replacing metals with semiconductors can alleviate these problems if only semiconductors could exhibit negative real permittivity. Aluminum doped zinc oxide (AZO) is a low loss semiconductor that can show negative real permittivity in the NIR. A comparative assessment of AZO-based plasmonic devices such as superlens and hyperlens with their metal-based counterparts shows that AZO-based devices significantly outperform at a wavelength of 1.55 µm. This provides a strong stimulus in turning to semiconductor plasmonics at the telecommunication wavelengths. (© 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim).