Sunday, March 25, 2007
The different functions of a computer chip are synchronized by an onboard clock, but that means the fastest operations can't pass on their data until the slowest have finished. Rajit Manohar, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, speeds up chips and lowers power consumption by removing the clock; his chips are 10 times more energy efficient than previous clockless chips. Instead of a separate clock network carrying a global timing signal, Manohar's chips use short wires to carry signals that alert successive operations when the previous operations have finished. Last year, Manohar also built the first low-power processor for sensor networks.