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We present a novel timing analysis mechanism which is based on identifying primitive path delay faults (primitive PDFs) in a circuit. We show that this approach gives the exact maximum delay of the circuit under the floating mode of operation assumption. Our timing analysis approach provides a framework where component delay correlations and signal correlations arising from fabrication process, signal propagation, and signal interaction effects can be handled very accurately. Under these effects, timing analysis using previously reported floating mode timing analyzers, e.g., viability, TrueD-F etc., is very pessimistic. Our timing analysis approach based on primitive PDF identification is also more efficient than conventional floating mode path sensitization analysis mechanisms in situations where critical paths need to be re-identified due to component delay speedup (e.g., postlayout delay optimization). We demonstrate the applicability of our timing analysis approach for a variety of benchmark circuits, and demonstrate the pessimism of conventional floating mode timing analysis approaches in accounting for signal propagation effects.