Algorithms for automatic generation of relative timing constraints

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Engineering
Department Electrical & Computer Engineering
Author Xu, Yang
Title Algorithms for automatic generation of relative timing constraints
Date 2011-05
Description Asynchronous circuits exhibit impressive power and performance benefits over its synchronous counterpart. Asynchronous system design, however, is not widely adopted due to the fact that it lacks an equivalent support of CAD tools and requires deep expertise in asynchronous circuit design. A relative timing (RT) based asynchronous asynchronous commercial CAD tools was recently proposed. This design flow enables engineers who are proficient in using synchronous design and CAD flow to more easily switch to asynchronous design without asynchronous experience while retaining the asynchronous benefits of power and performance. Relative timing constraints are the key step to this design flow, and were generated manually by the designer based on his/her intuition and understanding of the circuit logic and structure. This process was quite time-consuming and error-prone. This dissertation presents an algorithm that automatically generates a set of relative timing constraints to guarantee the correctness of a circuit with the aid of a formal verification engine - Analyze. The algorithms have been implemented in a tool called ARTIST (Automatic Relative Timing Identifier based on Signal Traces). Automatic generation of relative timing constraints relies on manipulation, such as searching and backtracking, of a trace status tableau that is built based on the counter example signal trace returned from the formal verification engine. The underlying mechanism of relative timing is to force signal ordering on the labeled transition graph of the system to restrict its reachability to failure states such that the circuit implementation conforms to the specification. Examples from a simple C-Element to complex six-four GasP circuits are demonstrated to show how this technique is applied to real problems. The set of relative timing constraints generated by ARTIST is compared against the set of hand generated constraints in terms of efficiency and quality. Over 100 four-phase handshake controller protocols have been verified through ARTIST and Analyze. ARTSIT vastly reduces the design time as compared to hand generation which may take days or even months to achieve a solution set of RT constraints. The quality of ARTIST generated constraints is also shown to be as good as hand generation.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Asynchronous circuits; Formal verification; Relative timing
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Yang Xu 2011
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 3,666,600 bytes
Identifier us-etd3,20845
Source Original housed in Marriott Library Special Collections, QA3.5 2011 .X8
ARK ark:/87278/s6j10hwp
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-24
Date Modified 2018-04-20
ID 194414
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s6j10hwp