An analytical approach for error PMF characterization in approximate circuits

Deepashree Sengupta, Farhana Sharmin Snigdha, Jiang Hu, Sachin S Sapatnekar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Approximate computing has emerged as a circuit design technique that can reduce system power without significantly sacrificing the output quality in error-resilient applications. However, there exists only a few approaches for systematically and efficiently determining the error introduced by approximate hardware units. This paper focuses on the development of error analysis techniques for approximate circuits consisting of adders and multipliers, which are the key hardware components used in error-resilient applications. A novel algorithm has been presented, using the Fourier and the Mellin transforms, that efficiently determines the probability distribution of the error introduced by approximation in a circuit, abstracted as a directed acyclic graph. The algorithm is generalized for signed operations through two's complement representation, and its accuracy is demonstrated to be within 1% of Monte Carlo simulations, while being over an order of magnitude faster.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number8283743
Pages70-83
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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Networks (circuits)
Hardware
Adders
Error analysis
Probability distributions
Monte Carlo simulation

Keywords

  • Approximate computing
  • Fourier transform
  • Mellin transform
  • error distribution

Cite this

An analytical approach for error PMF characterization in approximate circuits. / Sengupta, Deepashree; Snigdha, Farhana Sharmin; Hu, Jiang; Sapatnekar, Sachin S.

In: IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, Vol. 38, No. 1, 8283743, 01.01.2019, p. 70-83.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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