A deterministic approach to stochastic computation

Devon Jenson, Marc Riedel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

89 Scopus citations


Stochastic logic performs computation on data represented by random bit streams. The representation allows complex arithmetic to be performed with very simple logic, but it suffers from high latency and poor precision. Furthermore, the results are always somewhat inaccurate due to random fluctuations. The random or pseudorandom sources required to generate the representation are costly, consuming a majority of the circuit area (and diminishing the overall gains in area). In this paper, we show that randomness is not a requirement for this computational paradigm. If properly structured, the same arithmetical constructs can operate on deterministic bit streams, with the data represented uniformly by the fraction of 1's versus 0's. This paper presents three approaches for the computation: relatively prime stream lengths, rotation, and clock division. The three methods are evaluated on a collection of arithmetical functions. Unlike stochastic methods, all three of our deterministic methods produce completely accurate results. The cost of generating the deterministic streams is a small fraction of the cost of generating streams from random/pseudorandom sources. Most importantly, the latency is reduced by a factor of 1/2n, where n is the equivalent number of bits of precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2016
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781450344661
StatePublished - Nov 7 2016
Event35th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2016 - Austin, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2016Nov 10 2016

Publication series

NameIEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, Digest of Technical Papers, ICCAD
ISSN (Print)1092-3152


Other35th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Computer-Aided Design, ICCAD 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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