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Power dissipation poses a great challenge for VLSI designers. With the intense down-scaling of technology, the total power consumption of the chip is made up primarily of leakage power dissipation. This paper proposes combining a custom-designed MEMS switch to power gate VLSI circuits, such that leakage power is efficiently reduced while accounting for performance and reliability. The designed MEMS switch is characterized by an 0.1876 ? ON resistance and requires 4.5 V to switch. As a result of implementing this novel power gating technique, a standby leakage power reduction of 99% and energy savings of 33.3% are achieved. Finally the possible effects of surge currents and ground bounce noise are studied. These findings allow longer operation times for battery-operated systems characterized by long standby periods.