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The performance characteristics of banyan and crossbar communications networks are compared in a VLSI environment, where it is assumed that the entire network resides on a single VLSI chip and operates in a circuit switched mode. A high-level model of the space (area) and time (delay) requirements for these networks is developed and relative performance comparisons are made based on a space-time product measure. The results differ significantly from those obtained with more traditional analyses which are usually based on switch aggregate comparisons and SSI-based delay calculations. The analysis presented shows that the area required by both networks grows as 0(N2). Time delay grows as 0(N) for the crossbar, and approximately 0[ Na(log2N)2] for the banyan where 0 < a < 1. This contrasts with traditional results which yield 0(N log N) and 0(log N) switch and delay growth for banyan networks.