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.