ORLANDO, FLA. Theseus Logic Inc., an IC developer here, and the University of Central Florida have been awarded a state-funded grant to fund a joint research project involving a new semiconductor design methodology.
The award of a Florida High-Tech Corridor Matching Fund Grant to UCF was announced this week to support a project with Theseus Logic on ASIC design using asynchronous digital methodologies. The grant of $150,000 will be matched by $30,000 from UCF and an additional $150,000 from Theseus Logic. The funds will be used to support research aimed at developing commercial chips that use a new type of "clockless" semiconductor design technology developed by Theseus Logic, called Null Convention Logic (NCL).
"This collaborative research will put our high-tech microelectronics program into the world arena in the cutting edge of chip designs using asynchronous digital methodologies," said Jiann S. Yuan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCF.
NCL is an asynchronous or "clockless" logic design that promises significant advantages over traditional, clocked Boolean Logic devices, Yuan said. The technology enables ICs to be self-synchronizing so they do not require traditional IC clock trees, which can take up valuable real estate on an IC, as well as require more power to operate efficiently. Chips designed using NCL technology, especially those destined for system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs, will consume less power and provide faster throughput than their Boolean logic predecessors, according to Theseus Logic.
NCL designs also will be readily adaptable for reuse, which could save the expense of redesigning new circuits for each new application, Yuan said. Hand-held computers and multi-featured wireless communications devices such as mobile phones are logical candidates to use these ICs, he said.
Through partnerships with commercial electronics companies and government-funded research programs over the past several years, Theseus Logic has been perfecting its clockless chip technology. The company, founded in Minneapolis in 1996, recently moved its headquarters and design engineering offices to an expanded facility in Orlando, Fla., adjacent to the UCF campus.