Performance improvements in microelectronic integrated circuits (ICs) over the past few decades have, for the most part, been achieved by increasing transistor speed, reducing transistor size, and packing more transistors onto a single chip. Smaller transistors work faster, so ICs have become faster and more complex. An emerging factor that may disrupt this trend is the slowing speed of signal propagation within the chip. Signal delays, caused by the interconnection wiring, increase with each generation of scaling and may soon limit the overall performance of the integrated system.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(04)00053-7