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A simple formula is derived for quick calculation of the maximum short-circuit dissipation of static CMOS circuits. A detailed discussion of this short-circuit dissipation is given based on the behavior of the inverter when loaded with different capacitances. It was found that if each inverter of a string is designed in such a way that the input and output rise and fall times are equal, the short-circuit dissipation will be much less than the dynamic dissipation (<20%). This result has been applied to a practical design of a CMOS driving circuit (buffer), which is commonly built up of a string of inverters. An expression has also been derived for a tapering factor between two successive inverters of such a string to minimize parasitic power dissipation. Finally, it is concluded that optimization in terms of power dissipation leads to a better overall performance (in terms of speed, power, and area) than is possible by minimization of the propagation delay.