High speed random access memory (RAM) components used in current memory subsystems, caches, and DMA channels as well as in super high speed computer systems, rely on expensive and high power consumptive ECL and GaAs memory chips. These memory devices provide only marginal memory densities per chip (4 - 16 k bit). It is anticipated that the integration of optical interconnect technology coupled with alternative GaAs structures, can not only increase the speed of such systems but also decrease the power consumption. A frequency tunable, multiple quantum well, distributed Bragg reflection, GaAs solid state, laser diode array is being designed in conjunction with high resolution, planar waveguide optical gratings to achieve a low inertia and, therefore, a low-power sub-nanosecond parallel (e.g., 64 bits wide), angular scanning capability. When applied to an optical memory media such as dichromated gelatin holograms or a magneto-optic material which is used in optical disk technology, this photonic random optical memory access eliminates the power consumptive address system in RAM. Ultimately, disk or memory access speed will be increased by several orders of magnitude, while keeping power consumption at a minimum.