Realization of future applications indicated by roadmaps of present mainstream circuit and system technologies implies surmounting major practical barriers of higher power dissipation and density, higher densities of interchip and inter-module connections, and high-speed system operation. Both in combination or separately, optical interconnections and low-temperature system operation provide important system-level approaches to overcome these barriers. Emerging advanced electronic computing, information, and communication systems will increasingly seek to selectively use active cooling to alleviate expected higher power densities, stabilize temperature sensitive device operation (e.g. lasers in WDM systems), and achieve improved CMOS performance in advance of next generation design rule technology. Extension of active cooling to cryogenic temperatures, seen as a necessity for deep submicron and nanoscale device operation, then presents only an incremental system cost increase. Taken together, cryoelectronics and optical interconnections can be complimentary, providing together greater flexibility and opportunity for enhanced system performance than derivable individually. This paper explores the role of optical interconnections in actively cooled electronic systems with emphasis given to packaging and architecture implications as well as low temperature performance of optoelectronic devices.