Teaching Asynchronous Digital Design in the Undergraduate Computer Engineering Curriculum

S. C. Smith
Waleed K. Al-Assadi, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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As demand continues for circuits with higher performance, higher complexity, and decreased feature size, asynchronous (clockless) paradigms will become more widely used in the semiconductor industry, as evidenced by the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors' (ITRS) prediction of a likely shift from synchronous to asynchronous design styles in order to increase circuit robustness, decrease power, and alleviate many clock-related issues. ITRS predicts that asynchronous circuits will account for 19% of chip area within the next 5 years, and 30% of chip area within the next 10 years. To meet this growing industry need, students in Computer Engineering should be introduced to asynchronous circuit design to make them more marketable and more prepared for the challenges faced by the digital design community for years to come.