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Contemporary integrated circuits contain as many components as the largest computing systems of 15 to 20 years ago. The age of VLSI is here, and its technology is presenting interesting potentials as well as challenges. The increased component count provides the opportunity for increased functionality and/or overhead such as built-in-test circuits or structured, top-down design methodologies. At the same time, shrinking device dimensions increase system susceptibility to small energy perturbations. For example, alpha particles from trace elements in packaging material have been observed causing "soft" errors in dynamic MOS RAM chips.