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A Micropipeline Visualization Tool

Ophelia Dafina Swai


The micropipeline concept for asynchronous design was introduced by Sutherland about 6 years ago. Since then interest in the concept has picked up and research into the viability of the design concept continues. However, very little has been done in the way of commercial design using this concept.

Despite the problems of clock skew and higher power consumption due to the necessary clock distribution circuits in present day microchips, manufacturers are yet to implement asynchronous designs on a large scale. This is probably due to the perceived difficulty of the design of asynchronous circuits.

Nevertheless, the micropipeline concept is simple enough and this project aims to encourage its use by demonstrating the operation of a micropipeline using a visualization tool. This tool demonsrates the asynchronous flow of data through a micropipeline by displaying the output of a behavioural simulator.

This thesis therefore introduces the micropipeline concept as well as the design concepts for the realization of real time simulators and GUIs. A description of the toolkit used to realise the GUI is also given and thereafter a detailed description of the design and implementation of the visualization tool. Finally a brief discussion on the tool’s implementation and application performance.