By Bernard ColeEmbedded.com (03/06/06, 01:15:00 PM EST)
The future of asynchronous logic design is looking a little bit brighter. As the semiconductor industry struggles with mounting problems trying to achieve significant yields, higher performances and lower power without significant increases in fabrication costs, developers are turning to asynchronous alternatives to solve these problems.
Asynchronous, or clockless, logic as a mainstream circuit logic alternative could be critical in many embedded designs in consumer electronics and mobile devices.
Several things have occurred to make this alternative more viable. First, companies active in developing asynchronous logic are shifting from selling a particular IP approach to becoming fabless IC companies, using their logic expertise to address segments of the market synchronous logic is having a hard time satisfying.
Second, the numerous variations " and names " of asynchronous logic are settling out to three or four " optimized for specific segments of the market. A third trend is the increasing use, even amongst the largest semiconductor companies, of asynchronous techniques to achieve the performance, power, and cost objectives the market demands.
And finally, efforts at universities and within the same asynchronous companies are increasingly focused on developing EDA tools and design flows that can be integrated into the custom and semi-custom methods now used by the industry for synchronous design.
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