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Issue No. 02 - Feb. (1981 vol. 30)
ISSN: 0018-9340
pp: 107-115
Leonard R. Marino , Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182
Metastable operation is a fundamental phenomenon of sequential networks that process asynchronous inputs. Nevertheless, because of its subtle nature and the relatively low probability of its occurrence in conventional systems, this phenomenon is neither well understood nor widely appreciated. With continuing advances in digital technology however, there is a growing interest in large-scale highly parallel systems. Such systems are likely to involve numerous high-frequency asynchronous interactions, which may result in frequent failures due to metastable operation unless the designers take specific measures to prevent such failures. In recent years, a number of researchers have been working with some success to develop techniques for dealing with this failure mode. The purpose of this paper is to present a comprehensive theory of metastable operation that may lead to a better understanding of this phenomenon and provide theoretical support for further work in this area.
synchronous sequential networks, Arbiter, asynchronous inputs, asynchronous sequential networks, metastable operation, reliability, Schmitt trigger, synchronizer

L. R. Marino, "General theory of metastable operation," in IEEE Transactions on Computers, vol. 30, no. , pp. 107-115, 1981.
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