Micronets: a model for decentralising control in asynchronous processor architectures

D. K. Arvind, R. D. Mullins, V. E. F. Rebello

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Micronets model processor architectures as a network of communicating resources, in contrast to the traditional one of a linear pipeline. Micronets distribute the control to the functional units, which enables the exploitation of fine-grain concurrency between instructions. The overhead due to asynchrony is hidden with the four-phase protocol being used to implement scoreboarding and hazard avoidance mechanisms, without incurring additional control costs. This paper demonstrates the feasibility of micronet-based processors. Results are presented for SPICE-level simulations of a 0.7 μm CMOS implementation of a datapath. The relationships between micronets and both the compiler and the computer architecture are also explored
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsynchronous Design Methodologies, 1995. Proceedings., Second Working Conference on
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)0-8186-7098-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1995


  • computer architecture
  • pipeline processing
  • SPICE-level simulations
  • asynchronous processor architectures
  • communicating resources
  • decentralising control
  • fine-grain concurrency
  • four-phase protocol
  • hazard avoidance mechanisms
  • micronets
  • processor architectures
  • Communication system control
  • Computer architecture
  • Computer science
  • Concurrent computing
  • Costs
  • Electronic mail
  • Hazards
  • Pipelines
  • Process control
  • Resource management

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