Asynchronous circuits and associated design methodologies have potential practical benefits for the European VLSI industry. The aim of ACID-WG is to facilitate collaboration at a European level in this research area. ACID-WG will contribute to R&D in microelectronics (CAD and design methodology) and in the Open Microprocessor Systems Initiative (OMI). In particular, ACID-WG and its sister-project EXACT (OMI project 6143, Exploitation of Asynchronous Circuit Technologies) have been planned on a coordinated basis to ensure maximum complementarity and cost-effectiveness of research. Asynchronous systems are also being designed, as part of OMI/MAP (5386), OMI/DE (6909) and OMI/HORN (7249), by Manchester University, a partner in ACID-WG. A number of companies have expressed an interest in the outcome of the research.
The asynchronous circuit design working group brings together partners from a variety of backgrounds, including electrical engineers who are looking to asynchronous circuit technology for low latency and low power consumption, and computing scientists who are involved in the development of formal methods for the design of concurrent systems.
The first workshop was on the theme of Asynchronous Controllers and Interfacing. It was hosted by IMEC in Leuven, Belgium, September 14 to 16, 1992. The workshop included tutorial sessions in IMEC's ASSASSIN compiler.
The second workshop was on the theme of Asynchronous Data Processing. It was hosted by Eindhoven University of Technology in Veldhoven, The Netherlands, December 14 to 15, 1992. The workshop included tutorial sessions on Philips' TANGRAM compiler and Manchester's experience with the design of 'micropipelines'.
The third workshop was on the theme of Digital Signal Processing, hosted by Universitaet Politecnica de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, September 20 to 22, 1993. Participants in working group also contributed to the Schloss Dagstuhl on Self-Timed Design, Germany, November 30 to December 4, 1992, and to a conference on Asynchronous Design Methodologies, Manchester, UK, March 31 to April 2, 1993.
Six workshops will be organised by ACID-WG over the next three years. Besides attending the workshops, partners are expected to visit each other for the purpose of collaborative research in asynchronous circuit design. The activities of ACID-WG will be coordinated with those of EXACT.
Partners in ACID-WG and EXACT intend to reconcile their existing approaches and advance the state of the art in asynchronous circuits and associated design methodologies. The results should be of interest to the European VLSI industry as a whole because of the great potential of this technology in terms of ease of design, low power consumption and low latency, in particular. The workshops, demonstrators and educational activities will raise awareness among research groups and industry of this alternative to synchronous circuit technology.
LE11 3TU Loughborough
5656 AA Eindhoven
5600 MB Eindhoven
9700 AB Groningen
M13 9PL Manchester