Automata, Languages and Programming

Volume 85 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 632-644


Reversible computing

  • Tommaso ToffoliAffiliated withMIT Laboratory for Computer Science

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The theory of reversible computing is based on invertible primitives and composition rules that preserve invertibility. With these constraints, one can still satisfactorily deal with both functional and structural aspects of computing processes; at the same time, one attains a closer correspondence between the behavior of abstract computing systems and the microscopic physical laws (which are presumed to be strictly reversible) that underly any concrete implementation of such systems.

According to a physical interpretation, the central result of this paper is that it is ideally possible to build sequential circuits with zero internal power dissipation.