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Data-Driven Handshake Circuit Synthesis

Taylor, S.M.


This thesis describes a novel method of synthesising asynchronous circuits based upon the Handshake Circuit paradigm used in the Balsa synthesis system but employing a data-driven style, rather than the control-driven style of conventional Balsa. This approach attempts to combine the performance advantages of data-driven asynchronous design styles with the handshake circuit style of construction for synthesising large circuits. The integration into the existing Balsa design flow of a compiler for descriptions written in a new data-driven language is described along with the implementation of a number of new handshake components to support the new style. The method is demonstrated using a significant design example --- a 32~bit microprocessor. This example shows that the data-driven circuit style does indeed provide better performance than conventional control-driven Balsa circuits. Some qualitative discussion on the relative merits of the new description language when compared with conventional Balsa is also presented.

The thesis is available as PDF (911KB).