EECS500 Fall 2012 Department Seminar

Rajit Manohar
Energy-efficient Self-Timed Circuits
Cornell and Cornell NYC Tech
White Bldg., Room 411
10:30 - 11:30am
October 1, 2012

Self-timed circuits have the potential to improve the energy-efficiency of large-scale digital systems. The benefits of these circuits include switching activity only when there is useful computation being performed, and the ability to optimize for average-case delays rather than the worst-case timing path in the system. This benefit is partially offset by the overheads introduced to implement synchronization and delay-insensitive communication. We present examples of systems designed that demonstrate these efficiency benefits at two very different performance points: low power micro controllers, and high-performance floating-point arithmetic.


Rajit Manohar is Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell and Cornell NYC Tech, where his group conducts research on asynchronous design. He received his B.S. (1994), M.S. (1995), and Ph.D. (1998) from Caltech. He has been on the Cornell faculty since 1998 and the Cornell NYC Tech faculty since 2012. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, five best paper awards, seven teaching awards, and was named to MIT technology review's top 35 young innovators under 35 for contributions to low power microprocessor design. He was one of the principal designers of MiniMIPS, the first high-performance asynchronous microprocessor. He has worked on a number of asynchronous VLSI chips including the first microprocessor for sensor networks, an event-based asynchronous chip-multiprocessor, a pipeline-configurable asynchronous FPGA, and the first radiation hardened SRAM-based FPGA. He founded Achronix Semiconductor to commercialize high-performance asynchronous FPGAs.