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Computer aids have been used for both the design and verification of electronic systems for many years. The recent explosion in the complexity of electronic systems that the advent of Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) has allowed, has made the use of sophisticated computer-aided design tools indispensable. Computer aids will soon also provide key proprietary advantages as semiconductor and system design houses vie for the promising Application-Specific IC (ASIC) market of the next decade. This paper focusses on the techniques critical to both custom and ASIC design, the directions of present research and development for these areas, and future trends. In particular, recent developments in tools for the automated design of combinational logic are reviewed. These techniques include both algorithmic and rule-based approaches.