1063-7397/02/3101- $27.00 © 2002 MAIK “Nauka /Interperiodica”
Russian Microelectronics, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2002, pp. 37–58. Translated from Mikroelektronika, Vol. 31, No. 1, 2002, pp. 42–65.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2002by Starosel’skii.
1. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The theoretical groundwork for adiabatic computers
was laid in studies [1–14]. These devices are reversible
in the sense that the system regains most of the energy
expended on computing. It was established that total
reversibility is possible in principle, except for the eras-
ing of the information previously produced [2, 3, 7, 8].
A number of theoretical models were constructed for
the perfectly adiabatic computer [15–18]. However,
they cannot be implemented within currently available
Valiev and Starosel’skii  have shown that a uni-
versal adiabatic logic gate must include the following
which may undergo
deformation caused by a driving force from the
which determines a logic transition in
response to the driving force, depending on the input
through which state
information can be conveyed to other gates.
The thermodynamic properties of binary gates are
analyzed in [2, 5–9, 19]. Those studies demonstrate that
the production of one bit of information requires that
the driver at least performs the work
in order to
make the logic states distinguishable from one another.
If a gate can control similar gates, its driver must be
able to perform a work much greater than
To insure thermodynamic reversibility, gates must
be switched under
[2, 5, 8, 11, 14].
This implies that the driving force must act on the gen-
eralized spring in a
manner. Other conditions for
thermal equilibrium are as follows: (1) The spring of a
gate must have
equilibrium states, namely, a
a zero state
, and a unity state
(2) When a gate receives information, its spring must be
[2, 11, 14]. (3) Input information
for the entire cycle [2, 5, 8]. (4) Gates
must be free from
If the above requirements are met, dissipation can be
made as low as desired. Bennett  took the Turing
machine to illustrate how a universal adiabatic com-
puter can be implemented. In order that the driver can
regain energy, computing is performed while interme-
diate results are retained, after which they are stored.
Afterwards, computing is done in reverse order, and the
intermediate results are destroyed. This procedure is
simpliﬁed if the gates possess
if input information can be reconstructed from output
information. In that case, energy recovery is effected
without storing intermediate results. An example of
logically reversible gates was given by Fredkin and
Let us now consider how to construct adiabatic logic
in conventional electronic components. In this context,
the generalized spring of a gate becomes a load capac-
, the switches become transistors, the communi-
cation channels are implemented as interconnections,
and the logic states are described in terms of the charge
in the capacitor
and the driving voltage
. The equilibrium property of processes is insured
by varying the voltage
in such a slow manner that it
will change insigniﬁcantly during any period equal to
the time constant of the gate. Conditions 1–4 are trans-
lated into the following requirements.
The voltages between current-car-
rying electrodes must be zero when the transistors
switch to the on state. Otherwise, some of the energy
that has been accumulated by
will be dissipated.
The conductive coupling between
and the driver must exist at any time.
This is not the case in
gates, in which the gen-
eralized spring can be disconnected from the driver.
With electronic implementation, the charge
in a ﬂoating electrode of an additional capacitor or in
parasitic capacitance. When the gate changes its state,
the transistor through which the capacitance discharges
violates Requirement A.
Adiabatic Logic Circuits: A Review
V. I. Starosel’skii
Moscow State Institute of Electronic Engineering (Technical University), Zelenograd, Moscow oblast, Russia
Received July 20, 2001
—The current status of research and development in the ﬁeld of adiabatic electronic devices for the
production of information is reviewed. The adiabatic property means that the power supply regains most of the
energy expended on computing. A design philosophy of universal adiabatic logic gates is framed. The gates are
categorized according to adiabatic rank, the principle of operation, the method used to satisfy the thermal-equi-
librium conditions, the information-storage technique, and the mode of operation. For adiabatic-gate drivers,
existing design concepts are categorized and described. Promising avenues of development are outlined.