Performance Comparison of Clocked and Asynchronous Pipelines

Mark A. Franklin, Washington University in St Louis
Tienyo Pan, Washington University in St Louis


Clock (synchronous) and self-timed (asynchronous) represent the two principal methodologies associated with timing control and synchronization of digital systems. In this paper, clocked and the asynchronous instruction and arithmetic pipelines are modeled and compared. The approach, which yields the best performance is dependent on technology parameters, operating range and pipeline algorithm characteristics. Design curves are presented which permit selection of the best approach for a given application and technology environment.