Circuits Without Clocks: What Makes Them Tick?
Most digital circuits have a global clock that dictates when all circuit components execute their basic computation steps. The clock is a convenience for the designer, because the clock synchronizes all basic computations to its ticks. On the other hand, the clock can be a serious inconvenience with respect to speed, power consumption, modularity of design, and reduced electro-magnetic radiation. A clockless circuit is essentially a distributed system in-the-small, where the main challenge is the coordination of all basic computations in a fast and energy-efficient manner. A growing research community is exploring the benefits of circuits without clocks. In this talk I will give a brief overview of clockless circuits, illustrate their potential by means of some ‘live’ demos, and discuss current challenges.