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Directly measures the temporal behavior of fast circuits built from silicon CMOS devices using the hot electron light emission which occurs during switching. The optical technique measures the switching of individual devices separated by as little as 0.5-1.0 micron, with extension to 0.17 micron spacings possible. Temporal resolution is currently 50 psec and improvement to 20 psec is expected. The technique involves no external probes or fabrication of any special test circuits. It simultaneously measures switching waveforms on thousands of devices, giving it a unique ability to efficiently survey large arrays of devices.