ASYNC 2002
Conference paper

Synchronous interlocked pipelines


In a circuit environment that is becoming increasingly sensitive to dynamic power dissipation and noise, and where cycle time available for control decisions continues to decrease, locality principles are becoming paramount in controlling advancement of data through pipelined systems. Achieving fine grained power down and progressive pipeline stalls at the local stage level is therefore becoming increasingly important to enable lower dynamic power consumption while keeping introduced switching noise under control as well as avoiding global distribution of timing critical stall signals. It has long been known that the interlocking properties of asynchronous pipelined systems have a potential to provide such benefits. However, it has not been understood how such interlocking can be achieved in synchronous pipelines. This paper presents a novel technique based on local clock gating and synchronous handshake protocols that achieves stage level interlocking characteristics in synchronous pipelines similar to that of asynchronous pipelines. The presented technique is directly applicable to traditional synchronous pipelines and works equally well for two-phase clocked pipelines based on transparent latches, as well as one-phase clocked pipelines based on master-slave latches. © 2002 IEEE.