Much work is being done toward the optical implementation of traditional electronic processing and computing methods. Many of the proposed methods may not be the optimal way to utilize the benefits of optical techniques. We introduce here a new optical gate - the Fredkin gate - that is in principle minimally dissipative and its response time in some implementations may be limited only by the duration of optical pulses (i.e. in the subpicosecond range). To indicate the viability of this novel approach, a number of optical implementations of Fredkin gates with some interesting applications are proposed.