Conventional electrical interconnect and switching technology is rapidly becoming a critical issue in the realization of systems using high speed silicon and GaAs - based technologies. Comparisons between optical interconnect techniques and conventional electrical interconnect techniques are made as they are applied to high speed electronic computing systems. Theoretical and empirical data are used to identify the advantages of optical interconnects at various levels. Besides the inherent advantages of optics such as speed, reduced electromagnetic and radio frequency interference and crosstalk, optical interconnects are capable of providing larger fanouts at higher bandwidths, with possible lower system power and complexity. In addition, optics has an advantage over conventional interconnects via the density potential of free-space interconnects. A review of recent analysis and results of using optical communication in high speed electronic computing applications is presented.