Conventional synchronous processors are based on global clocking whereby global synchronization signals control the rate at which different elements operate.
- All functional units operate in lockstep under the control of a central clock.
As the clocks get faster, the chips get bigger and the wires get finer.
- Increasingly difficult to ensure that all parts of the processor are ticking along in step with each other.
The asynchronous processors attack clock-related timing problems by asynchronous (or self-timed) design techniques.
- Asynchronous processors remove the internal clock.
- All components of a asynchronous processor work at their own pace, negotiating with each other whenever data needs to be passed between them.