Why M-Valued Circuits are Restricted to a Small Niche
Although many m-valued circuits have been presented, very few have been successful. We first examine the technical and economical reasons that prevent the success of m-valued circuits. We show that these circuits implemented with voltage mode, current mode and charge-mode circuits are generally less efficient than the corresponding binary circuits according to VLSI criteria (speed, chip area, power dissipation). When slower access time are allowed, m-valued DRAM can provided a significant reduction in chip area: this is the case for flash memories. M-valued circuits are thus restricted to small niches in the binary world. We also examine if m-valued circuits can solve the interconnection issues.