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Ultra large-scale integration (ULSI) is the process of integrating or embedding millions of transistors on a single silicon semiconductor microchip. ULSI technology was conceived during the late 1980s when superior computer processor microchips, specifically for the Intel 8086 series, were under development. ULSI is a successor to large-scale integration (LSI) and very large-scale integration (VLSI) technologies but is in the same category as VLSI.
ULSI was designed to provide the greatest possible computational power from the smallest form factor of microchip or microprocessor dye. This was achieved by embedding and integrating integrated circuits (IC), which were formed with transistors and logic gates. The close placement and design architecture enabled faster resolution of tasks and processes. However, even though VLSI now contains more than millions of transistors, any IC or microchip with more than one million transistors is considered a ULSI implementation.
Intel 486 and the Pentium series of processors were built on ULSI principles.