Combining the strengths of both proximity communication and optical communication, a new hybrid input–output (I/O) platform delivers on-chip bandwidth off-chip and over distance. We demonstrate, for the first time, a four-channel hybrid I/O interface by integrating proximity communication and vertical-cavity surface-emitting-laser-based parallel optical interconnects on the same commercial 90-nm complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor platform. The optical I/O can operate at 5 Gb/s per channel, and the complete hybrid I/O interface achieved 2.5 Gb/s per channel. We characterize the I/O link performance for various data rates and chip separations, and show 10µm chip separation tolerance for proximity communication.