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A new class of asynchronous pipelines is proposed, called lookahead pipelines (LP), which use dynamic logic and are capable of delivering multi-gigahertz throughputs. Since they are asynchronous, these pipelines avoid problems related to high-speed clock distribution, such as clock power, management of clock skew, and inflexibility in handling varied environments. The designs are based on the well-known PSO style of Williams and Horowitz as a starting point, but achieve significant improvements through novel protocol optimizations: the pipeline communication is structured so that critical events can be detected and exploited earlier. A special focus of this work is to target extremely fine-grain or gate-level pipelines, where the datapath is sectioned into stages, each consisting of logic that is only a single level deep. Both dual-rail and single-rail pipeline implementations are proposed. All the implementations are characterized by low-cost control structures and the avoidance of explicit latches. Post-layout SPICE simulations, in 0.18-mum technology, indicate that the best dual-rail LP design has more than twice the throughput (1.04 giga data items/s) of Williams' PSO design, while the best single-rail LP design achieves even higher throughput (1.55 giga data items/s).
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:15 , Issue: 11 )
Date of Publication: Nov. 2007