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Asynchronous microprocessors: From high level model to FPGA implementation

Lookup NU author(s): Keith Heron, Dr Albert Koelmans, Professor Alex Yakovlev


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Asynchronous logic principles can be potentially advantageous for novel micro-processor designs as they offer greater design modularity and complete avoidance of clock distribution, mitigate various negative operational effects such as metastability, high power dissipation and electromagnetic emission, to name but a few. The designs of the Amulet microprocessors, originally built as an asynchronous "challenge" to the clocked ARM architecture, have already demonstrated that some of these benefits can be realised in practice. As more asynchronous processor designs are expected within the next decade, the problem of an efficient design methodology is of prime importance. We present an FPGA implementation of an asynchronous microprocessor, called ADLX. This microprocessor employs 2-phase event driven transition signalling logic that functions within the conceptual framework of a Sutherland micropipeline. The implementation was constructed from a series of VHDL descriptions using a range of commercially available products. Parts of the design were developed using Petri Net models which were validated and then synthesized using Petrify, a software tool designed for the manipulation of concurrent specifications of asynchronous control circuits.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lloyd L, Heron K, Koelmans AM, Yakovlev AV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Systems Architecture

Year: 1999

Volume: 45

Issue: 12-13

Pages: 975-1000

Print publication date: 01/06/1999

ISSN (print): 1383-7621

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6165

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/S1383-7621(98)00047-2


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