RE: [SI-LIST] : Interesting theoretical questions

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From: subas (subas@micron.com)
Date: Mon Nov 01 1999 - 20:08:12 PST


Hi Jian,

When the signal is digital, its not exactly necessary that you have clocks
for synchronisation. Provided the path delay and switching time
(capacitance) is taken into consideration, we can predict the state of the
swiches correctly. Playing with these variables, it can be possible to
"synchronise" the signals.
If such machines are made, they will be the ultimate, limited only by the
process technology. "Clocks" are used because we are trying to play safe
that signals do synchronise but if you think carefully, this clock business
is all but arbitrary. Look at the Intel chips for example, they sell chips
which can be overclocked easily to higher frequencies to get higher
throuhputs.

My two cents worths!

Subas

-----Original Message-----
From: Jian Zheng [mailto:jian@zeland.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 9:29 AM
To: si-list@silab.eng.sun.com
Subject: RE: [SI-LIST] : Interesting theoretical questions

Following are my answers to the questions (check keyword ANSWER in the
following attached context):
> 3) Has there been any computer made without any clocks (asynchronous)? How
> fast is this computer?

ANSWER: I have no idea about it. However, it seems to me it is impossible.
For a computer without a clock, it has to be analog. When I was in school, I
learnt that there were analog computers. However, you can not guarantee the
accuracy because analog signals are affected by noise. In order to guarantee
the accuracy, we have to digitize the signals. When we digitize it, we
should need the clocks for synchronization.

>
> Thank you very much.
>
> Subas

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