High Performance and Optimal Configuration of Accurate Heterogeneous Block-Based Approximate Adder

by   Ebrahim Farahmand, et al.

Approximate computing is an emerging paradigm to improve power and performance efficiency for error-resilient application. Recent approximate adders have significantly extended the design space of accuracy-power configurable approximate adders, and find optimal designs by exploring the design space. In this paper, a new energy-efficient heterogeneous block-based approximate adder (HBBA) is proposed; which is a generic/configurable model that can be transformed to a particular adder by defining some configurations. An HBBA, in general, is composed of heterogeneous sub-adders, where each sub-adder can have a different configuration. A set of configurations of all the sub-adders in an HBBA defines its configuration. The block-based adders are approximated through inexact logic configuration and truncated carry chains. HBBA increases design space providing additional design points that fall on the Pareto-front and offer better power-accuracy trade-off compared to other configurations. Furthermore, to avoid Mont-Carlo simulations, we propose an analytical modelling technique to evaluate the probability of error and Probability Mass Function (PMF) of error value. Moreover, the estimation method estimates delay, area and power of heterogeneous block-based approximate adders. Thus, based on the analytical model and estimation method, the optimal configuration under a given error constraint can be selected from the whole design space of the proposed adder model by exhaustive search. The simulation results show that our HBBA provides improved accuracy in terms of error metrics compared to some state-of-the-art approximate adders. HBBA with 32 bits length serves about 15 to state-of-the-art approximate adders.


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