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A critical challenge on the path to exascale systems is the growing proportion of power consumed in interconnects. Optical communication can potentially reduce the energy per bit of communication at both the interchip and intrachip level. The cost of converting between the electronic and optical domains, which can be prohibitively high using current discrete optical components, will be radically reduced through the development of integrated photonics using standard silicon processes. However the benefits of integrated photonics go beyond simply making “better wires”. The greatly increased bandwidth density, and relative distance independence of DWDM photonics allow new architectures for networking and memory systems to be explored.