Time is running out for the clocks that make our computers tick. Scientists have developed a new generation of hardware and software based on the simpler designs of the 1950s.
Asynchronous, or clock-free systems, promise extra speed, safety, security and miniaturisation. The new designs work well in the laboratory and are only awaiting the development of software tools so that they can be produced commercially, says Professor Alex Yakovlev and fellow researchers in the Department of Computing Science at Newcastle University, England.
This week (April 8-12) the Newcastle team will present two papers at the International Symposium on Advanced Research into Asynchronous Circuits and Systems, in Manchester, England (see web link). One paper explains the pioneering techniques the team has developed for synthesizing asynchronous systems, the other relates to measuring metastability — a problem which may sound the death knell of conventional computers.
Michael Warwicker | alphagalileo
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