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A closed-form solution for the output signal of a CMOS inverter driving an RLC transmission line is presented. This solution is based on the alpha power law for deep submicrometer technologies. Two figures of merit are presented that are useful for determining if a section of interconnect should be modeled as either an RLC or an RC impedance. The damping factor of a lumped RLC circuit is shown to be a useful criterion. The second useful figure of merit considered in this paper is the ratio of the rise time of the input signal at the driver of an interconnect line to the time of flight of the signals across the line. AS/X circuit simulations of an RLC transmission line and a five section RC II circuit based on a 0.25-/spl mu/m IBM CMOS technology are used to quantify and determine the relative accuracy of an RC model. One primary result of this paper is evidence demonstrating that a range for the length of the interconnect exists for which inductance effects are prominent. Furthermore, it is shown that under certain conditions, inductance effects are negligible despite the length of the section of interconnect.