Network computing ooers great potential for further advances in the amount of computing power available to large-scale compute-intensive applications. This paper describes a network architecture upon which a high performance distributed computing environment may be constructed. The architecture uses a specially designed Time and Wavelength Division Multiplexed (TWDM) optical passive star as the underlying high speed network. The system architecture supports a variety of heterogeneous computing components interconnected by this network in a local area. Furthermore, the network architecture is exible enough to support the many diierent communication patterns of distributed applications by embedding a computation directly within the system hardware.