A novel power-efficient high-speed clock management unit using quantum-dot cellular automata

  • M. M. AbutalebEmail author
Research Paper


Quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) is one of the most attractive alternatives for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor technology. The QCA widely supports a new paradigm in the field of nanotechnology that has the potential for high density, low power, and high speed. The clock manager is an essential building block in the new microwave and radio frequency integrated circuits. This paper describes a novel QCA-based clock management unit (CMU) that provides innovative clocking capabilities. The proposed CMU is achieved by utilizing edge-triggered D-type flip-flops (D-FFs) in the design of frequency synthesizer and phase splitter. Edge-triggered D-FF structures proposed in this paper have the successful QCA implementation and simulation with the least complexity and power dissipation as compared to earlier structures. The frequency synthesizer is used to generate new clock frequencies from the reference clock frequency based on a combination of power-of-two frequency dividers. The phase splitter is integrated with the frequency synthesizer to generate four clock signals that are 90o out of phase with each other. This paper demonstrates that the proposed QCA CMU structure has a superior performance. Furthermore, the proposed CMU is straightforwardly scalable due to the use of modular component architecture.


Quantum-dot cellular automata Nanoelectronics Nanosystem Clock management unit Frequency synthesizer Phase splitter D-type flip-flops 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Angizi S, Navi K, Sayedsalehi S, Navin AH (2014) Efficient quantum dot cellular automata memory architectures based on the new wiring approach. J Comput Theor Nanosci 11:2318–2328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. D.A. Antonelli, D.Z. Chen, T.J. Dysart, X.S. Hu, A.B. Kahng, P.M. Kogge, R.C. Murphy, M.T. Niemier (2004) Quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA) circuit partitioning: problem modeling and solutions. The 41st Design Automation Conference (DAC), pp. 363–368Google Scholar
  3. Blair EP, Yost E, Lent CS (2009) Power dissipation in clocking wires for clocked molecular quantum-dot cellular automata. J Comput Electron 9:49–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cho H, Swartzlander EE Jr (2009) Adder and multiplier design in quantum-dot cellular automata. IEEE Trans Comput 58:721–727CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Coussy P, Morawiec A (2008) High-level synthesis: from algorithm to digital circuit. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dehkordi MA, Shamsabadi AS, Ghahfarokhi BS, Vafaei A (2011) Novel RAM cell designs based on inherent capabilities of quantum-dot cellular automata. Microelectron J 42:701–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dysart TJ (2013) Modeling of electrostatic QCA wires. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 12:553–560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. S.E. Frost, A.F. Rodrigues, A.W. Janiszewski, R.T. Rausch, P.M. Kogge 2002, Memory in motion: a study of storage structures in QCA, First Workshop on Non-silicon ComputingGoogle Scholar
  9. Hashemi S, Navi K (2012) New robust QCA D flip flop and memory structures. Microelectron J 43:929–940CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hu W, Sarveswaran K, Lieberman M, Bernstein GH (2005) High-resolution electron beam lithography and DNA nano-patterning for molecular QCA. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 4:312–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Huang J, Momenzadeh M, Lombardi F (2007) Design of sequential circuits by quantum dot cellular automata. Microelectron J 38:525–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Khatun M, Padgett B, Anduwan G, Sturzu I, Tougaw D (2013) Defect and temperature effects on complex quantum-dot cellular automata devices. Journal of Applied Mathematics and Physics 1:7–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kim K, Wu K, Karri R (2006) Quantum-dot cellular automata design guideline. IEICE Trans Fundam Electron Commun Comput Sci 89:1607–1614CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lent CS, Tougaw PD (1997) A device architecture for computing with quantum dots. Proc IEEE 85:541–557CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Lent CS, Tougaw PD, Porod W, Bernstein GH (1993) Quantum cellular automata. Nanotechnology 4:49–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lent CS, Liu M, Lu Y (2006) Bennett clocking of quantum dot cellular automata and the limits to binary logic scaling. Nanotechnology 17(16):4240–4251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Liu W, Lu L, O’Neill M, Swartzlander EE Jr (2011) Design rules for quantum-dot cellular automata. Proc IEEE Int Symp Circuits Syst:2361–2364Google Scholar
  18. Liu W, Swartzlander EE Jr, O’Neill M (2013) Design of semiconductor QCA systems. Artech House, USAGoogle Scholar
  19. Lu Y, Lent CS (2005) Theoretical study of molecular quantum-dot cellular automata. J Comput Electron 5:115–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lu Y, Liu M, Lent C (2007) Molecular quantum-dot cellular automata: from molecular structure. J Appl Phys 102:034311–034317CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mandal D, Bhattacharyya TK (2008) Implementation of CMOS low-power integer-N frequency synthesizer for SOC design. J Comput Secur 3(4):31–38Google Scholar
  22. Ravichandran R, Lim SK, Niemier M (2005) Automatic cell placement for quantum-dot cellular automata. Integr VLSI J 38:541–548CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Razavi B, Lee KF, Yan RH (1995) Design of high-speed, low-power frequency dividers and phase-locked loops in deep submicron CMOS. IEEE J Solid State Circuits 30(2):101–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Safarian A, Anand S, Heydari P (2006) On the dynamics of regenerative frequency dividers. IEEE Trans Circuits Syst II, Express Briefs 53:1413–1417CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. K. Sengupta, H. Hashemi (2006) Maximum frequency of operation of CMOS static frequency dividers: theory and design techniques. 13th IEEE International Conference on Electronics, Circuits AND Systems (ICECS ‘2006), pp. 584–587Google Scholar
  26. Shamsabadi AS, Ghahfarokhi BS, Zamanifar K, Vafaei A (2009) Applying inherent capabilities of quantum-dot cellular automata to design: D flip-flop case study. J Syst Archit 55:180–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sheikhfaal S, Angizi S, Sarmadi S, Moaiyeri MH, Sayedsalehi S (2015) Designing efficient QCA logical circuits with power dissipation analysis. Microelectron J 46:462–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shu K, Snchez-Sinencio E (2004) CMOS PLL synthesizers: analysis and design. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  29. Srivastava S, Sarkar S, Bhanja S (2009) Estimation of upper bound of power dissipation in QCA circuits. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 8:116–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Srivastava S, Asthana A, Bhanja S, Sarkar S (May 2011) QCAPro-an error power estimation tool for QCA circuit design. Proc. IEEE Int. Symp. Circuits Syst.:2377–2380Google Scholar
  31. Taskin B, Hong B (2008) Improving line-based QCA memory cell design through dual phase clocking. IEEE Trans Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Syst 16:1648–1656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Timler J, Lent CS (2002) Power gain and dissipation in quantum dot cellular automata. J Appl Phys 91:823–830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vankamamidi V, Ottavi M, Lombardi F (2005) A line-based parallel memory for QCA implementation. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 4:690–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vankamamidi V, Ottavi M, Lombardi F (2008) A serial memory by quantum-dot cellular automata (QCA). IEEE Trans Comput 57:606–618CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Vetteth A, Walus K, Dimitrov VS, Jullien GA (2003) Quantum-dot cellular automata of flip-flops. ATIPS Laboratory 2500 University Drive, AlbertaGoogle Scholar
  36. Walus K, Dysart TJ, Jullien GA, Budiman RA (2004) QCADesigner: a rapid design and simulation tool for quantum-dot cellular automata. IEEE Trans Nanotechnol 3:26–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Xiao L, Chen X, Ying S (2012) Design of dual-edge triggered flip-flops based on quantum-dot cellular automata. Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE C 13(5):385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. K.K. Yadavalli, A.O. Orlov, K. Kummamuru, C.S. Lent, G.H. Bernstein, G.L. Snider (2006) Fanout in quantum dot cellular automata, 63rd Device Research Conference Digest (DRC ‘05), Santa Barbara, CA, pp. 121–122Google Scholar
  39. Yang X, Cai L, Zhao X (2010) Low power dual-edge triggered flip-flop structure in quantum dot cellular automata. Electron Lett 46:825–626CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electronics, Communications and Computer EngineeringHelwan UniversityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations