Abstract To provide the designer of digital circuits with the potential of a recently developed class of micro-system structures, consisting of thin films of resistance plated on a dielectric substrate, the transient behaviour of these components was investigated analytically and experimentally. A survey was made of alternative approaches for computing the transient response. For arbitrary termination and drive, two methods proved effective: one primarily of mathematical significance, the other of more practical use to the circuit designer. Following the second approach, a lumped model based on physical phenomena was developed and demonstrated to be optimum for circuit design. Experimental agreement with wave shape and response time was excellent.