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Studies the effects of the substrate thermal gradients on the buffer insertion techniques. Using a non-uniform temperature-dependent distributed RC interconnect delay model, the buffer insertion problem is analyzed and design guidelines are provided to ensure the near-optimality of the signal performance in the presence of the thermal gradients. In addition, the effect of temperature-dependent driver resistance on the buffer insertion is studied. Experimental results show that neglecting thermal gradients in the substrate and the interconnect lines can result in non-optimal solutions when using standard buffer insertion techniques and that these effects intensify with technology scaling.