In the 1950s, Goto and von Neumann showed how Boolean computation could be performed by encoding logic states in the phase of oscillatory signals. However, the AC-pumped circuit realizations they proposed were not well suited for scaling and miniaturization, hence their scheme could not compete with the level-based logic now ubiquitous in IC implementations. We show how DC-powered self-sustaining nonlinear oscillators of practically any type can function as phase-logic latches. Phase-based Boolean computation becomes possible using a wide variety of natural and engineered oscillators (including CMOS realizations) as substrates; moreover, it features attractive energy and noise immunity properties, and is capable of running at near-THz speeds. With Moore’s Law facing fundamental barriers an important concern, these results provide motivation for re-examining phase based logic as an alternative for the post-CMOS era.
Jaijeet Roychowdhury is a Professor in the EECS Department at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to Berkeley, he spent 8 years in Bell Labs and another 8 years at the University of Minnesota. His current research interests encompass novel computational architectures and paradigms, analog and mixed-signal verification, multi-domain device modelling and open-source infrastructures for reproducible research.
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