The large bandwidth demand in long-distance telecom networks lead to single-mode fiber interconnects as result of low dispersion, low loss and dense wavelength multiplexing possibilities. In contrast, multi-mode interconnects are suitable for much shorter lengths up to 300 meters and are promising for optical links between racks and on board level. Active optical cables based on multi-mode fiber links are at the market and research in multi-mode waveguide integration on board level is still going on. Compared to multi-mode, a single-mode waveguide has much more integration potential because of core diameters of around 20% of a multi-mode waveguide by a much larger bandwidth. But light coupling in single-mode waveguides is much more challenging because of lower coupling tolerances. Together with the silicon photonics technology, a single-mode waveguide technology on board-level will be the straight forward development goal for chip-to-chip optical interconnects integration. Such a hybrid packaging platform providing 3D optical single-mode links bridges the gap between novel photonic integrated circuits and the glass fiber based long-distance telecom networks. Following we introduce our 3D photonic packaging approach based on thin glass substrates with planar integrated optical single-mode waveguides for fiber-to-chip and chip-to-chip interconnects. This novel packaging approach merges micro-system packaging and glass integrated optics. It consists of a thin glass substrate with planar integrated singlemode waveguide circuits, optical mirrors and lenses providing an integration platform for photonic IC assembly and optical fiber interconnect. Thin glass is commercially available in panel and wafer formats and characterizes excellent optical and high-frequency properties. That makes it perfect for microsystem packaging. The paper presents recent results in single-mode waveguide technology on wafer level and waveguide characterization. Furthermore the integration in a hybrid packaging process and design issues are discussed.© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.