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Using VLSI technology, it will soon be possible to implement entire computing systems on one monolithic silicon chip. Conducting paths are required for communicating information throughout any integrated system. The length and organization of these communication paths place a lower bound on the area and time required for system operations. Optimal designs can be achieved in only a few of the many alternative structures. Two illustrative systems are analyzed in detail: a RAM-based system and an associative system. It is shown that in each case an optimum design is possible using the area-time product as a cost function.