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2011 : Description Methods for Asynchronous Circuits -- A Comparison

Author(s)
Robert Najvirt
Abstract
The advances of silicon manufacturing technology making it possible to integrate billion-transistor systems on a single die cause fully synchronous systems to become increasingly difficult to design and inefficient. Proponents of asynchronous circuits claim them to be a possible solution to most of these problems and they are indeed becoming an increasingly interesting design choice. However, the adoption of asynchronous circuits in the industry remains marginal. Amongst other reasons, it is the multitude of different description methods and corresponding tools with dissimilar capabilities that make education and investments in asynchronous circuits more difficult. The aim of the thesis was to describe the seven most established description methods for asynchronous circuits, compare them in respect to a number of parameters and list their advantages and disadvantages. The parameters for the comparison were elaborated to reflect most of the problems of asynchronous circuit design. For a more illustrative comparison, a carefully chosen circuit was described with all the methods. As a result of the work, a comparison of different description methods is now available that, unlike the existing literature so far, views these methods from the same angle, namely a carefully chosen set of criteria. This comparison, along with the selected demonstrative examples, could serve prospective designers of asynchronous circuits when choosing a description method for a project. At the same time, the extraction of the underlying concepts of the considered methods along with their comparison is also valuable for a didactic presentation of asynchronous design. In this presentation, the motivation for the thesis will be reviewed, followed by an overlook of highlights from the results. Finally, the central achievements will be listed.
Bibtex
@mastersthesis{ najvirt:2011,
  author =      "Robert Najvirt",
  title =       "Description Methods for Asynchronous Circuits -- A Comparison",
  address =     "Treitlstr. 3/3/182-1, 1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =      "Technische Universit{\"a}t Wien, Institut f{\"u}r Technische Informatik",
  year =        "2011"
}
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