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QCA Systolic Array Design

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4 Author(s)
Liang Lu ; Queen's University Belfast, Belfast ; Weiqiang Liu ; Máire O'Neill ; Earl E. Swartzlander

Quantum-dot Cellular Automata (QCA) technology is a promising potential alternative to CMOS technology. To explore the characteristics of QCA and suitable design methodologies, digital circuit design approaches have been investigated. Due to the inherent wire delay in QCA, pipelined architectures appear to be a particularly suitable design technique. Also, because of the pipeline nature of QCA technology, it is not suitable for a complicated control system design. Systolic arrays take advantage of pipelining, parallelism, and simple local control. Therefore, an investigation into these architectures in semiconductor QCA technology is provided in this paper. Two case studies, (a matrix multiplier and a Galois Field multiplier) are designed and analyzed based on both multilayer and coplanar crossings. The performance of these two types of interconnections are compared and it is found that even though coplanar crossings are currently more practical, they tend to occupy a larger design area and incur slightly more delay. A general semiconductor QCA systolic array design methodology is also proposed. It is found that by applying a systolic array structure in QCA design, significant benefits can be achieved particularly with large systolic arrays, even more so than when applied in CMOS-based technology.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computers  (Volume:62 ,  Issue: 3 )