Smart Dust with Asynchronous Stream Processing (ASP)
Asynchronous circuits have many advantages over their synchronous counterparts in terms of robustness to parameter variations, wide supply voltage ranges, and potentially low power by not needing a clock, yet their promise has not been translated yet into commercial success due to several issues related to design methodologies and the need for handshake signals. Stochastic computing is another processing paradigm that has shown promises of low power and extremely compact circuits but has yet to become a commercial success mainly because of the need for a fast clock to generate the random streams. The recently proposed Asynchronous Stream Processing combines the best features of asynchronous circuits (lack of clock, robustness) with the best features of stochastic computing (processing on streams) to enable extremely compact and low power sensing “motes” that can finally fulfill the promise of smart dust, another concept that was ahead of its time and yet to achieve widespread deployment. This seminar will go into the details of an Asynchronous Stream Processing (ASP) mote. The ASP mote includes input sensors, asynchronous sigma-delta modulators that convert the sensor data into streams, asynchronous stream processing units to process the streams, analog memories to store data, energy sources, and pulse-based ultra-wide band (UWB) units to transmit the processed data. Among the unique characteristics of the ASP mote are: exact stream adders based on Sigma-Delta modulation, and the direct transmission of conditioned Sigma-Delta streams as pulses for UWB.