The History of the ECS Project

The History of the ECS Project

Beginnings...

The Event Controlled Systems project began with Professor Pucknell's interest in asychronous logic. This flavour of asynchronous logic was known as Event Driven Logic , and culminated in a paper published in ????.

The Next Stage...

Two postgraduate students came onto the scene in the early part of 1992 - Shannon Morton and Andrew Johnson , who immediately began looking to create some larger systems using EDL and to extend the methodology further, under the supervision of computing guru Michael Liebelt Shannon Morton evolved the EDL framework into the Event Controlled Systems Methodology during 1993, which allowed a more formal mathematical framework for dealing with this class of asynchronous logic. The Event Controlled Systems methodology in this form has remained relatively unchanged (due to it's power in describing two-phase asynchronous logic systems), but additions in the form of various algorithms and application to various other forms of asychronous logic techniques continue to be made.

Sam Appleton joined the ECS project in 1993 after completing an honours project in ECS in 1992, and began work on caches and microprocessors using ECS. In 1994, the ECS project members began working on a prototype asynchronous microprocessor using the ECS design approach, ECSTAC-P (Event Controlled Systems Temporally specified Asynchronous Cpu - Prototype). Fabrication of this device is expected in early 1995.

ECS has also been applied to other problems apart from microprocessor design, including a powerful Fast Fourier Transform Processor. ECS is also expected to be applied to aspects of telecommunications and encryption schemes in the near future.

The Story Continues...

Work continues into more advanced aspects of the ECS methodology, including development of high-performance applications in various fields. Another postgraduate student may possibly begin work in 1995, as well as the work done by Honours students on various aspects of the ECS project. Shannon Morton will complete his Ph.D. thesis around the beginning of 1997. Sam Appleton will complete his Ph.D. thesis around mid 1997. Both have focussed principally on improving asynchronous system performance.

Fabricated Systems

A number of systems have been fabricated to show that the ECS design approach is feasible and correct. These, to date, have included,

An Event-Controlled ALU

A SRAM system. A small SRAM system was fabricated in a 0.8um technology using two different styles of control

A large set of test circuits, fabricated in a 1.5um technology


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Any comments or questions regarding the ECS project can be sent to sam@eleceng.adelaide.edu.au