By Richard G. Peddicord
Ebook by means of Peddicord, Richard G.
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Additional info for Everything You Can Do With Your Commodore 64
Similarly, designers who believe latches are necessary to store state will be very confused by skew-tolerant domino circuits that eliminate the latches. On the other hand, it is easier to see that skew-tolerant domino circuits properly enforce sequencing and thus operate correctly. Finally, this view of sequencing dispels some myths about asynchronous systems. Some asynchronous proponents argue that asynchronous design is good because it eliminates clocking overhead by avoiding the distribution of high-speed clocks .
The clocks overlap enough that even under worst-case clock skews providing minimum overlap, the first gate B in the second phase has time to evaluate before the last gate A in the first phase begins precharge. As with static latches, the gates are guaranteed to be ready to operate when the data arrives even if skews cause modest variation in the arrival time of the clock. Therefore we do not need to budget clock skew in the cycle time. Another advantage of skew-tolerant domino circuits is that latches are not necessary within the domino pipeline.
The most effective would have been to use latches rather than flip-flops on the critical paths. This would have removed clock skew from the cycle time budget, relinquishing about 8 FO4 inverter delays for useful computation. Unfortunately, the ASIC house did not have experience with, or tools for, latchbased design, so this was not an option at the time. However, latch-based design has been practiced in the industry for decades and is supported by many CAD packages, so an investment in such capability would provide payoffs on many future high-speed designs.