Future networks will require very high throughput, carrying dominantly data-centric traffic. The role of Photonic Networks employing all-optical systems will become increasingly important in providing scalable bandwidth, agile reconfigurability, and low-power consumptions in the future. In particular, the self-similar nature of data traffic indicates that packet switching and burst switching will be beneficial in the Next Generation Photonic Networks. While the natural conclusion is to pursue Photonic Packet Switching and Photonic Burst Switching systems, there are significant challenges in realizing such a system due to practical limitations in optical component technologies. Lack of a viable all-optical memory technology will continue to drive us towards exploring rapid reconfigurability in the wavelength domain. We will introduce and discuss the advanced optical component technologies behind the Photonic Packet Routing system designed and demonstrated at UC Davis. The system is capable of packet switching and burst switching, as well as circuit switching with 600 psec switching speed and scalability to 42 petabit/sec aggregated switching capacity. By utilizing a combination of rapidly tunable wavelength conversion and a uniform-loss cyclic frequency (ULCF) arrayed waveguide grating router (AWGR), the system is capable of rapidly switching the packets in wavelength, time, and space domains. The label swapping module inside the Photonic Packet Routing system containing a Mach-Zehnder wavelength converter and a narrow-band fiber Bragg-grating achieves all-optical label swapping with optical 2R (potentially 3R) regeneration while maintaining optical transparency for the data payload. By utilizing the advanced optical component technologies, the Photonic Packet Routing system successfully demonstrated error-free, cascaded, multi-hop photonic packet switching and routing with optical-label swapping. This paper will review the advanced optical component technologies and their role in the Next Generation Photonic Networks.