An optical interface message processor (OPTIMP) is proposed that exploits the high bandwidth, parallelism, multidimensional capability, and high storage density offered by optics. The most time consuming operations such as switching and routing in communication networks are performed in the optical domain in the proposed system. The design does not suffer from the optical/electrical conversion bottlenecks and can perform switching and routing in the range of gigabits/s. The source-destination (S-D) information from a message is first converted to the spatial domain. The routing table stores all S-D codes and the corresponding control codes for the switching module. Using a cylindrical system, the routing table is searched in parallel (single step) and control signals corresponding to the matched S-D row from the table are used to control the switching module. The switching module, based on the self electrooptical device array technology, can be reconfigured in the gigahertz range and provide high bandwidth.