Publication Date

Fall 2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Electrical Engineering


Tri Caohuu


asic, asynchronous circuit, asynchronous logic, communicating sequential processes, csp, digital design

Subject Areas

Electrical engineering


Asynchronous digital logic as a design alternative offers a smaller circuit area and lower power consumption but suffers from increased complexity and difficulties related to logic hazards and elements synchronization. The presented work proposes a design methodology based on the speed-independent sequential logic theory, oriented toward asynchronous hardware implementation of complex multi-step algorithms. Targeting controller-centric devices that perform data-driven non-linear execution, the methodology offers a CSP language-based controller workflow description approach and the specification of a project implementation template supported by a two-stage design process. First, the CSP layer describes complex speed-independent controller behavior offering better scalability and maintainability than the STG model. Second, the component-oriented design template specifies functional elements' structural organization and emphasizes the divide-and-conquer philosophy, streamlining large and complex devices' design and maintenance. Finally, the implementation process is divided into two stages: a rapid development and functional verification stage and a synthesizable codebase stage. Additionally, a case study design of a split-transaction MESI cache coherency controller and its analysis are presented to validate the proposed methodology. The testing phase compares synthesized and routed gate-level asynchronous and synchronous implementations. For models synthesized to work with the same speed, the asynchronous circuit area is 20% smaller with lower power consumption at approximately 18% of the synchronous reference. The synchronous version synthesized for performance is 3.5 times faster, at the cost of a large increase in area and power usage. The results prove the methodology's ability to deliver working complex asynchronous circuits competitive in the chip area and power characteristics.