The Mesochronous Dual-Clock FIFO Buffer
SourceIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
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To increase system composability and facilitate timing closure, fully synchronous clocking is replaced by more relaxed clocking schemes, such as mesochronous clocking. Under this regime, the modules at the two ends of a mesochronous interface receive the same clock signal, thus operating under the same clock frequency, but the edges of the arriving clock signals may exhibit an unknown phase relationship. In such cases, clock synchronization is needed when sending data across modules. In this brief, we present a novel mesochronous dual-clock first-input-first-output (FIFO) buffer that can handle both clock synchronization and temporary data storage, by synchronizing data implicitly through the explicit synchronization of only the flow-control signals. The proposed design can operate correctly even when the transmitter and the receiver are separated by a long link whose delay cannot fit within the target operating frequency. In such scenarios, the proposed mesochronous FIFO can be extended to support multicycle link delays in a modular manner and with minimal modifications to the baseline architecture. When compared with the other state-of-the-art dual-clock mesochronous FIFO designs, the new architecture is demonstrated to yield a substantially lower cost implementation.