Peter Clarke, Electronics360
06 October 2014
Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (San Jose, Calif.) is working on its own design of 16bit RISC processor core in an asynchronous logic, or clockless, format for the sake of power saving.
The core is intended for use in low power microcontrollers will be a version of Maxim's MaxQ 16bit RISC core. The core will run clockless but will have clocked peripheral circuits and I/O, the company said. The R&D is being done in Dallas, Texas, under Dan Loomis, vice president responsible for medical, energy and embedded security business unit.
Excepting one or two instances asynchronous or clockless logic appears to have fallen out of favor in recent years with R&D efforts on extreme power saving turning instead to clocked logic run at near- or sub-threshold voltages.
However, Maxim has joined such companies as Wave Semiconductor Inc. (Sunnyvale, Calif.) and Tiempo SA (Grenoble, France). The original argument in favour of asynchronous logic was that it could save power compared with equivalent clocked circuits but problems with testing of asynchronous circuits performance variability against temperature seemed to weigh against usage.
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