Re: [SI-LIST] : Interesting theoretical questions

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From: Mike Hughes ([email protected])
Date: Tue Nov 02 1999 - 05:48:36 PST

> >
> > 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.
> >

I wouldn't say it's impossible to have a computer without a clock. You would
only have to make sure that no decisions are made without having all the
required inputs. I'm sure that's easier said than done.

As far as accuracy... any noise on the analog signals will get digitized. There
is also "quantization noise" when a signal is digitized. Even if the analog
signal had no noise whatsoever, the "rounding off" to the resolution of the
digitizer is an inherent form of noise.

Mike Hughes               
Product/Test Engineer      
High Speed Conversion       
Analog Devices, Inc. 

Phone 781-937-2370 Fax 781-937-1011 mailto:[email protected] ================================

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