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Design and evaluation of ultra‐fast 8‐bit approximate multipliers using novel multicolumn inexact compressors

International Journal of Circuit Theory and Applications

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A multiplier, as a key component in many different applications, is a time-consuming, energy-intensive computation block. Approximate computing is a practical design paradigm that attempts to improve hardware efficacy while keeping computation quality satisfactory. A novel multicolumn 3,3:2 inexact compressor is presented in this paper. It takes three partial products from two adjacent columns each for rapid partial product reduction. The proposed inexact compressor and its derivatives enable us to design a high-speed approximate multiplier. Then, another ultra-fast, high-efficient approximate multiplier is achieved by utilizing a systematic truncation strategy. The proposed multipliers accumulate partial products in only two stages, one fewer stage than other approximate multipliers in the literature. Implementation results by the Synopsys Design Compiler and 45 nm technology node demonstrate nearly 11.11% higher speed for the second proposed design over the fastest existing approximate multiplier. Furthermore, the new approximate multipliers are applied to the image processing application of image sharpening, and their performance in this application is highly satisfactory. It is shown in this paper that the error pattern of an approximate multiplier, in addition to the mean error distance and error rate, has a direct effect on the outcomes of the image processing application.


Fereshteh Karimi, Reza Faghih Mirzaee, Ali Fakeri‐Tabrizi, Arman Roohi

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