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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Temporal properties of self-timed rings Winstanley, Anthony J.

Abstract

Various researchers have proposed using self-timed networks to generate and distribute clocks and other timing signals. I consider one of the simplest self-timed networks, a ring, and note that for timing applications, self-timed rings should maintain uniform spacing of events. In practice, all previous designs of which I am aware cluster events into bursts. This thesis describes a dynamical systems approach to analyze the temporal properties of self-timed rings. This method is used to verify that a new design produces the desired uniform spacing of events. Furthermore, I design, fabricate, and test a self-timed ring that is capable of exhibiting uniformly spaced behaviour. The key to my method is the development of an appropriate model of the timing behaviour of the self-timed circuit. This model is more accurate than the simplistic interval bounds of timed-automata techniques, while providing a higher level of abstraction than non-linear differential equation models such as SPICE. Uniformly spaced and clustered event behaviours are distinguished by simple geometric features of this model.

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