The two classic parameters of integrated circuit design are speed and area. The cost of an integrated circuit is linearly related to the yield (that is, to the percentage of instances of the circuit which function correctly). In turn, yield is inversely related to the probability of a fatal defect in the material substrate, which is exponentially related to active area of the circuit. Hence, to a first approximation, the cost of an integrated circuit is a function of the area of the circuit.
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