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A significant performance limitation in integrated circuits has become the metal interconnect, which is responsible for depressing the on-chip data bandwidth while consuming an increasing percentage of power. These problems will grow as wire diameters scale down and the resistance-capacitance product of the interconnect wires increases hyperbolically, which threatens to choke off the computational performance increases of chips that we have come to expect over time. We examine some of the quantitative implications of these trends by analyzing the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. We compare the potential of replacing the global electronic interconnect of future chips with a photonic interconnect and see that there is in principle a four order of magnitude bandwidth-to-power ratio advantage for the latter. This indicates that it could be possible to dramatically improve chip performance without scaling transistors but rather utilize the capability of existing transistors much more efficiently. However, at this time it is not clear if these advantages can be realized. We discuss various issues related to the architecture and components necessary to implement on-chip photonic interconnect.