Due to the mature silicon fabrication technology and vast existing infrastructures, silicon photonics has a chance to offer low cost solutions to telecommunications and data communications. It could also enable a chip-scale platform for monolithic integration of optics and microelectronics circuits for applications of optical interconnects for which high data streams are required in a very small footprint. Two key building blocks needed for any silicon based optoelectronics are silicon based light source and high-speed optical modulator. This paper gives an overview of recent results for a fast (>1GHz) silicon modulator and a silicon Raman laser. We present optical characterization of a high speed metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) capacitor-based silicon optical modulator. We show that a Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) structure with a custom-designed driver circuit results in the realization of a silicon modulator transmitting data at 2.5 Gb/s with an extinction ratio of up to 2.8 dB. In addition we show that by reducing the waveguide dimensions one can improve the phase efficiency. In addition, as single crystal silicon possesses higher (four orders of magnitude) Raman gain coefficient as compared to silica, it is possible to achieve sizeable gain in chip-scale silicon waveguide for optical amplification and lasing. With a 4.8 cm long waveguide containing a reverse biased p-i-n diode, we demonstrate lasing operation using a pulsed pump laser. We achieve ~10% slope efficiency. We in addition model a continuous-wave silicon Raman laser and show that higher conversion efficiency and lower threshold power can be realized with optimised cavity device design.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.