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On the existence of speed-independent circuits

Authors
Journal
Theoretical Computer Science
0304-3975
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
86
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0304-3975(91)90024-v
Disciplines
  • Design

Abstract

Abstract A circuit is called speed-independent if its nontransient behavior does not depend on the size of the delays in the different components of the circuit. We show that the class of speed-independent circuits is relatively small—in fact, very many useful circuits cannot be realized in a speed-independent design. For example, we show that there does not exist any speed-independent mod k counter for any k > 1. The results are derived using a very general model of a network which is applicable to both gate circuits and more modern MOS switch-level circuits. Furthermore, the results are also robust with respect to different delay assumptions and definitions of speed-independence.

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