An Asynchronous Dataflow FPGA Architecture

John Teifel and Rajit Manohar

We discuss the design of a high-performance field programmable gate array (FPGA) architecture that efficiently prototypes asynchronous (clockless) logic. In this FPGA architecture, low-level application logic is described using asynchronous dataflow functions that obey a token-based compute model. We implement these dataflow functions using finely pipelined asynchronous circuits that achieve high computation rates. This asynchronous dataflow FPGA architecture maintains most of the performance benefits of a custom asynchronous design, while also providing postfabrication logic reconfigurability. We report results for two asynchronous dataflow FPGA designs that operate at up to 400 MHz in a typical TSMC 0.25μm CMOS process.
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