Design of a Reconfigurable Pulsed Quad-Cell for Cellular-Automata-Based Conformal Computing
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This paper presents the design of a reconfigurable asynchronous unit, called the pulsed quad-cell (PQ-cell), for conformal computing. The conformal computing vision is to create computational materials that can conform to the physical and computational needs of an application. PQ-cells, like cellular automata, are assembled into arrays with nearest neighbor communication and are capable of general computation. They operate asynchronously to minimize power consumption and to allow sealing without the limitations imposed by a global clock. Cell operations are stimulated by pulses which use two wires to encode a data bit. Cells are individually reconfirgurable to perform logic, move and store information, and coordinate parallel activity. The PQ-cell design targets a 0.25 μm CMOS technology. Simulation results show that a PQ-cell, when pulsed at 1.3 GHz, consumes 16.9 pJ per operation. Examples of self-timed multi-cell structures include a 98 MHz ring oscillator and a 385 MHz pipeline.