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The Stanford University environment provides an unique combination of systems applications coupled with a state-of-the-art IC fabrication facility. Tools for VLSI design are being developed in concert with the. evolution of chip designs--the largest design to date contains more than 10000 transistors. Design methodologies are discussed as well as specific tools and approaches for IC synthesis, layout, and analysis. Recent results of a database experiment are presented. In addition, examples of specific system architecture experiments are considered.