The technology convergence of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs) with photonic crystals may enable a revolution for the next generation of photonic integrated circuits. The optical path for conventional photonic circuits-containing lasers, modulators, and waveguides-is defined to be parallel to the epitaxial planes. We propose a new optoelectronic device topology wherein the light propagation is perpendicular to the crystal layers from optically coupled vertical cavities located between distributed Bragg reflectors (DBR). The transverse coupling between the vertical cavity elements of a 2-dimensional (2D) array define the photonic circuit, and is achieved using effective index waveguides and 2D photonic lattices. Such highly dense, massively parallel, and high performance 2D vertical cavity photonic integrated circuits may provide the foundation for a future generation of optical processing and communication applications.