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. Optical interconnect technology promises to enhance performance, provide relief from the pinout problem, decrease implementation complexity, and provide improvements to the flexibility of systems by allowing real time reconfiguration of these systems. In recent years, rapid progress has been made in VLSI/VHSIC technology that improves on - chip density and speed while packaging these high speed chips is becoming extremely difficult and in some cases limiting system performance. By releasing the bandwidth contraints on interconnects and packaging, the full processing speed capabilities of silicon and GaAs logic can be exploited to dramatically improve system throughput. A number of university, govern-mental and industrial laboratories have been developing technology for on-chip/on-wafer, chip-to-chip and board-to-board high speed optical communication. Both guided wave and free space communication media are being developed. In this paper, a review of some of the state-of-the-art technological developments will be presented.