By the 1980’s the number of transistors on single chips crossed the limit of thousands. This was the time when the Very Large Scale Integration or VLSI came into existence and paved the way for tiny chips and small computing devices. The technology is continually evolving and today has made possible the creation of small devices in almost all industries.
The new technology eliminated the drawbacks of its predecessor in terms of power consumption, the number of devices in a module and reliability.
All the chips used today in computers, mobile devices, cars, aircrafts and communication systems are examples of the application of VLSI technology. NON-VON is a Neumann supercomputer that is currently being developed at Columbia University. The dramatic cost-to-performance advantage of the NON-VON lies in its unique use of VLSI. This supercomputer is an example of the use of VLSI at the cutting edge of technology.
VLSI consumes lesser power compared to its predecessors, which means less cooling mechanisms are required for the devices and the cost of operation is lower. In case of a switching circuit, almost all the power is used in switching the electric charge in the capacitors connecting the switches. But when it comes to an integrated circuit the components are tiny and too close. This results in extremely smaller capacitance and thus the power consumption is extremely small.
Another advantage of using VLSI is that it requires less testing. When a circuit needs to be built using different ICs, it will be required to test each IC for different applications. For example, if a thousand integrated circuits were to be used, it would require a lot of testing. However, when VLSI is used, all the components are focused on a single application. This eliminates the need for testing, and even there is any test required, it is performed only for the function or objective for which the circuit was developed for.