We all are familiar with the chips that we use in many electronic devices. But have you heard about clockless chip? Clockless chips are electronic chips that aren’t using clock for timing signal. Also They are enforced in asynchronous circuits. An asynchronous circuit may be a circuit in which the components are mostly autonomous. they’re not governed by a clock circuit or global clock signal, instead need only wait for the signals that indicate completion of instructions and operations.<!–more–>
Every action of the computer takes place in small steps, each a billionth of a second long. An easy transfer of information might take only 1 step; complicated calculations could take several steps. All operations, however, should begin and finish according to the clock’s timing signals.
The use of a central clock also creates issues. As speeds have increased, distributing the timing signals has become very difficult. Present-day transistors will process information so quickly that they’ll accomplish many steps in the time that it takes a wire to carry a signal from one side of the chip to the other. Keeping the rhythm identical in all components of a large chip needs careful design and an excellent deal of electric power.
Clockless approach, that uses a method referred to as asynchronous logic, differs from typical computer circuit design in this the switching on and off of digital circuits is controlled separately by specific pieces of information rather than by a tyrannical clock that forces all of the millions of the circuits on a chip to march in unison.
It overcomes all the disadvantages of a clocked circuit like high power consumption, high electromagnetic noise, slow speed etc. For these reasons the clockless technology is considered because the technology that is going to drive majority of electronic chips in the coming years.
Conventional chips (synchronous) operate under the control of a central clock that samples information in the registers at precisely timed intervals. Computer chips of these days are synchronous: Also they contain a main clock that controls the timing of the whole chips.
One advantage of a clock is that, the clock gives the necessary signals to the devices of the chip regarding when to input or output. This feature of the synchronous design makes the designing of chip easier. In addition The circuit that uses global clock will permit information to flow in the circuit in any manner of sequence and order doesn’t matter.
Clockless chips are that they provide off terribly low levels of electromagnetic noise. The quicker the clock, the tougher it’s to stop a device from interfering with other devices; in fact dispensing with the clock just eliminates this drawback. Moreover The combination of low power consumption and low noise makes asynchronous chips a natural choice for mobile devices.
Applications of clockless chips:
- Wearable computers
- Infrared communication receiver
- In pagers
- Filter bank for digital hearing
Now let us see some of the challenges that the clockless chip faces:
- Interfacing between synchronous and asynchronous
- Several devices available currently are synchronous in nature.
- Special circuits are required to align them.
- Lack of experience.
- Lack of tools.
- Engineers don’t seem to be trained in these fields.
- Academically, no courses offered