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Coding for skew-tolerant parallel asynchronous communications

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2 Author(s)
M. Blaum ; IBM, San Jose, CA, USA ; J. Bruck

A communication channel consisting of several subchannels transmitting simultaneously and asynchronously is considered, an example being a board with several chips, where the subchannels are wires connecting the chips and differences in the lengths of the wires can result in asynchronous reception. A scheme that allows transmission without an acknowledgment of the message, therefore permitting pipelined communication and providing a higher bandwidth, is described. The scheme allows a certain number of transitions from a second message to arrive before reception of the current message has been completed, a condition called skew. Necessary and sufficient conditions for codes that can detect skew as well as for codes that are skew-tolerant, i.e. can correct the skew and allow continuous operation, are derived. Codes that satisfy the necessary and sufficient conditions are constructed, their optimality is studied, and efficient decoding algorithms are devised. Potential applications of the scheme are in on-chip, on-board, and board to board communications, enabling much higher communication bandwidth

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IEEE Transactions on Information Theory  (Volume:39 ,  Issue: 2 )