It is now widely recognized that continued performance gains in electronic computing will require new materials, both in the short and long term. In the short term, the silicon channel in transistors will be replaced by materials with higher mobility that are easier to “scale” (make thinner). In data storage, the goal is to have fast, non-volatile memory with a smaller cell size. In the long term, new architectures and new types of logic devices will be needed in order to further reduce power consumption. New materials cannot only boost performance, but can also add new functionalities, such as on-chip photonics, which can vastly improve interchip interconnects. The need for new materials is a big opportunity for materials research, but also a challenge. Replacement technologies must outperform conventional silicon technology, but also be compatible with the vast infrastructure of silicon manufacturing. Examples of some of the materials advances in the areas of computation, memory, and communication are given in this issue of MRS Bulletin.