Awards at Async97

Best Paper Award

The `best paper' at Async97 was selected from the accepted papers by popular vote of the participants. Here are the top three papers (84 valid votes were received):
  1. Async97 Best Paper: (13 votes)
    AMULET2e: An Asynchronous Embedded Controller
    S.B. Furber, J.D. Garside, S.Temple, J. Liu, University of Manchester, UK
    P. Day, N.C. Paver, Cogency Technology, UK

  2. (11 votes)
    A FIFO Ring Oscillator Performance Experiment
    Charles E. Molnar, Ian W. Jones, Bill Coates, Jon Lexau, Sun Microsystems Laboratories, USA

  3. (9 votes)
    The Design and Verification of a High-Performance Low-Control-Overhead Asynchronous Differential Equation Solver
    Kenneth Y. Yun, Ayoob E. Dooply, Julio Arceo, University of California, San Diego, USA
    Peter A. Beerel, Vida Vakilotojar, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA

    (9 votes)
    A Low-Power Zero-Overhead Self-Timed Division and Square Root Unit, Combining a Single-Rail Static Circuit with a Dual-Rail Dynamic Circuit
    Gensoh Matsubara, Nobuhiro Ide, Toshiba Corporation, Japan

photograph of award The Async97 Best Paper Award (picture, provided by Steve Furber) is called AquaMagic - Double. It consists of two transparent tubes (only one of which is visible in the picture) mounted in parallel and filled with a clear liquid. Each of the tubes holds an hourglass, one sitting at the bottom, the other floating at the top. When the device is turned upside down, the hourglasses do not move with respect to the liquid, and the sand starts running. After a while, the hourglass at the bottom slowly rises to the top, and the hourglass at the top slowly sinks to the bottom. How come? It provides a nice example of a counterflow pipeline.

Ray Bathke from Village Games constructs AquaMagic Hourglasses, either in single or in double format.

Charles E. Molnar Award

In the summer of 1996, Charlie Molnar (Sun Microsystems Laboratories) proposed the idea of having a special award at Async97 for the contribution that best bridges the gap between theory and practice. It would be an award sponsored by both Sun Microsystems Laboratories (Mountain View, California, USA) and Philips Research Laboratories (Eindhoven, The Netherlands), to emphasize the special relationship of these two industrial research labs and Eindhoven University of Technology. This idea was immediately embraced by all parties involved.

The issue of finding an appropriate name for this award had been postponed. After December 13, 1996, when Charlie Molnar suddenly passed away, there was no doubt in our minds that we should name it the Charles E. Molnar Award.

A specially established committee has carefully selected the recipient of the award from a shortlist prepared by the organization. This committee consisted of The committee had a difficult task and met three times during the conference for deliberation.

The committee chose to present the Charles E. Molnar Award to two papers for their combined contributions. These two papers report the work of two closely collaborating research teams. The first paper, by Xie and Beerel, develops and extends mathematical techniques for performance analysis. The second, by Yun, Beerel, Vakilotojar, Dooply, and Arceo exploits methods of the first paper in a nontrivial VLSI design. The two collaborating teams have applied new and existing design tools to a well-focused task. In Charlie Molnar's words, they employed "the ultimate verification method of fabricating and testing real circuits". It is for this outstanding achievement combining theory and practice that the award is being presented.

The Charles E. Molnar Award goes to two papers:

The Charles E. Molnar Award consists of a check of 1,000.- ECU and a trophy. The award was presented by Donna Molnar, the wife of the late Charlie Molnar.

The trophy is made of iroko, a beautiful African hardwood. On first impression it looks like a contorted beam doing a three-dimensional dance. Closer inspection shows that the trophy exhibits many symmetries and might even reveal that the beam traverses a Hamiltonian cycle on the edges of a truncated octahedron (a closed path visiting all 24 vertices exactly once). The beam is made from 24 identical pieces having a rectangular cross section, such that cutting the beam at 45 degrees yields a square face. With these 24 pieces more than 62,000 closed 3D-space walks are possible.

The trophy was designed and constructed by mathematician Koos Verhoeff, professor emeritus in computing science at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Koos was an acquaintance of Charlie Molnar and occupies himself with mathematical art since his retirement. The accompanying picture was taken by Kim Verhoeff.