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Multigig intros literally revolutionary chip clock

Rotary wave technology

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Chip technology developer Multigig came out of hiding today to announce what it claims is a major breakthrough in the design of microprocessor clock circuitry: a rotary oscillator that, the company maintains, delivers "extremely precise, high-resolution, low-noise timing signals" and does so by consuming "far less power than is associated with standard clock designs".

Multigig calls its approach RotaryWave and said the technology was now available to chip designers and manufacturers for evaluation and licensing. It said top-tier vendors are already examining the approach, and said it can be implemented on all current fabrication processes and tools, and in any current chip design.

Multigig also intends to establish itself as a fabless manufacturer of analogue-to-digital converter (ADC) and voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) chips based on its technique. It has 22 global patents covering the technology, it said, adding that a further 50 were pending.

RotaryWave is founded on the work of UK researcher John Wood, who founded Multigig in the late 1990s, though the company is now formally based in the US. Wood's system uses a loop of CMOS inverter circuits to create and maintain an oscillation that rotates around the loop. According to Wood, you can connect a number of these "rotary traveling-wave oscillators" together into arrays the distribute the phase-locked clock signal around a larger chip.

The architecture is said to dampen 'phase noise', the rapid and random fluctuations in the clock oscillation's phase that can otherwise limit the precision of the clock circuit. Reducing the precision of the clock affects the chip it's driving, lowering bandwidth or processing power of the part, depending on its function.

Multigig said it was planning to make specific product announcements later this quarter. It will also provide further details of the technology underpinning them at that time. ®

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