Full-custom asynchronous design has for some time now offered a means of achieving low-latency and high-throughput. However, its application has been somewhat limited by a labor-intensive design cycle, involving many levels of manual circuit decomposition and physical design that require highly-specialized designers. Proteus is a new asynchronous ASIC CAD flow that enables the automatic synthesis, sizing, and physical design of high-level specifications in communicating sequential processes to GHz silicon, greatly reducing design time and enabling far wider use of asynchronous design.
The flow’s target is 2-3X higher performance than typically possible for synchronous counterparts, namely 1.1GHz in TSMC 65nm. It is based on a proprietary cell library of domino logic and asynchronous control cells, small collections of gates sized, layed out, and characterized as single library cells, designed to implement robust high-performance pipelined circuits . The Proteus flow leverages both synchronous synthesis and place-and-route tools and supports as a starting point both legacy RTL as well as System Verilog with custom-build interfaces for modeling asynchronous communication primitives akin to communicating sequential processes (CSP).
More details of the FloW can be found in the following articles.
- P. A. Beerel, G. D. Dimou, and A. M. Lines, "Proteus: An ASIC Flow for GHz Asynchronous Designs," IEEE Design & Test of Computers, vol. 28, pp. 36-51, 2011.
- A. Saifhashemi, P. A. Beerel. “SystemVerilogCSP: Modeling Digital Asynchronous Circuits Using SystemVerilog Interfaces”, Proceedings of Communicating Process Architectures - WoTUG-33, June 2011.
- Georgios D. Dimou, Peter A. Beerel, Andrew Lines: Performance-Driven Clustering of Asynchronous Circuits. PATMOS 2011, pp. 92-101, Sept. 2011.
- P. Golani and P. A. Beerel, “Area-Efficient Multi-Level Single-Track Pipeline Template”, DATE 2011, March 2011.
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- A. Saifhashemi and P. A. Beerel, "Observability Conditions and Automatic Operand-Isolation in High-Throughput Asynchronous Pipelines", PATMOS 2012