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The high data rates facilitated by photonic networks call for 10-100 Gb/s electronic interfaces, protocol processing and switching. Two needs are identified, high absolute speed and high throughput. The basic speed limitations of transistors in different techniques, wires and circuits are discussed. Several examples of the implementation of key functions demanding high absolute speed, using bipolar techniques, and high throughput, using CMOS techniques, respectively, are demonstrated. Examples of real implementations are shown. Finally, future prospects are discussed.