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A method for generating custom self-timed integrated circuits (ICs) from an algorithmic description of the behavior of the described circuit is described. The goal is to quickly produce prototype integrated circuit masks that implement various algorithms and datatypes in order to evaluate the IC power, delay, and area characteristics. The behavior of the circuits is described in a functional subset of Algol 68 and is given a data flow interpretation. To perform the translation from constructs in the functional language to mask primitives (CIF code), a topology-preserving and behavior-preserving mapping is used. The mask primitives have been validated by simulation and testing so that the syntax-directed translation is assured of generating only working circuits. This mapping requires execution time proportional to the length of the algorithmic description. Therefore, the execution time will be fast and will allow for algorithm and data type experimentation.