Quantum algorithms and computational models primarily focus on processing quantum states via qubit manipulations
and measurements. While this allows for hardware independent algorithm development, it does not necessarily reflect
the full capabilities of even imperfect physical implementations - which typically have access to additional degrees of
freedom not routinely considered in quantum algorithm development. In analogy with electrical mixed-signal (analog
and digital) processing, here we investigate the prospects of incorporating the strengths of the native physical platform
into the quantum information processor. Although the treatment here will be limited to optical systems the general
approach should apply to other physical systems as well.