scaleTRIM: Scalable TRuncation-Based Integer Approximate Multiplier with Linearization and Compensation

by   Ebrahim Farahmand, et al.

Approximate computing (AC) has become a prominent solution to improve the performance, area, and power/energy efficiency of a digital design at the cost of output accuracy. We propose a novel scalable approximate multiplier that utilizes a lookup table-based compensation unit. To improve energy-efficiency, input operands are truncated to a reduced bitwidth representation (e.g., h bits) based on their leading one positions. Then, a curve-fitting method is employed to map the product term to a linear function, and a piecewise constant error-correction term is used to reduce the approximation error. For computing the piecewise constant error-compensation term, we partition the function space into M segments and compute the compensation factor for each segment by averaging the errors in the segment. The multiplier supports various degrees of truncation and error-compensation to exploit accuracy-efficiency trade-off. The proposed approximate multiplier offers better error metrics such as mean and standard deviation of absolute relative error (MARED and StdARED) compare to a state-of-the-art integer approximate multiplier. The proposed approximate multiplier improves the MARED and StdARED by about 38 consumption is about equal to the state-of-the-art approximate multiplier. Moreover, the performance of the proposed approximate multiplier is evaluated in image classification applications using a Deep Neural Network (DNN). The results indicate that the degradation of DNN accuracy is negligible especially due to the compensation properties of our approximate multiplier.


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