Asynchronous circuit

Asynchronous Circuit

Asynchronous circuit

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An asynchronous circuit is a circuit in which the parts are largely autonomous. They are not governed by a clock circuit or global clock signal, but instead need only wait for the signals that indicate completion of instructions and operations. These signals are specified by simple data transfer protocols. This digital logic design is contrasted with a synchronous circuit which operates according to clock timing signals.

Theoretical foundations

Petri nets are an attractive and powerful model for reasoning about asynchronous circuits. However Petri nets have been criticized by Carl Hewitt for their lack of physical realism (see Petri net). Subsequent to Petri nets other models of concurrency have been developed that can model asynchronous circuits including the Actor model and process calculi.

The term asynchronous logic is used to describe a variety of design styles, which use different assumptions about circuit properties. These vary from the bundled delay model - which uses 'conventional' data processing elements with completion indicated by a locally generated delay model - to delay-insensitive design - where arbitrary delays through circuit elements can be accommodated. The latter style tends to yield circuits which are larger than bundled data implementations, but which are insensitive to layout and parametric variations and are thus "correct by design".

Asynchronous logic is the logic required for the design of asynchronous digital systems. These function...
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