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Battery-driven notebook computers, personal digital assistants (PDAs), cellular telephones, and many other portable electronic systems require low-power, low-voltage, high-performance processors. Asynchronous design (i.e., circuitry that lacks a global clock) offers the potential to minimize constraints imposed by traditional design, and thereby accelerate technological development. For example, asynchronous circuits require significantly less power because only the portions of the circuit that are required for a particular computation are actually active, and there is no global clock, a component that typically is responsible for half of the total power consumption in a high-performance microprocessor. Dataflow can be pipelined because there is no need for synchronization latches. Higher speeds are also possible because there is no clock skew that requires the "cycle time" to be padded. Moreover, asynchronous circuits are intrinsically robust with respect to manufacturing and interface tolerances.


 

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