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Evaluating the Potential Applications of Quaternary Logic for Approximate Computing
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication. (UART)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Systems.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Mathematics and Computer Science, Department of Information Technology, Computer Architecture and Computer Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8267-0232
Norwegian University of Science and Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4232-6976
2019 (English)In: ACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems (JETC), ISSN 1550-4832, Vol. 16, no 1, article id 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There exist extensive ongoing research efforts on emerging atomic-scale technologies that have the potential to become an alternative to today’s complementary metal--oxide--semiconductor technologies. A common feature among the investigated technologies is that of multi-level devices, particularly the possibility of implementing quaternary logic gates and memory cells. However, for such multi-level devices to be used reliably, an increase in energy dissipation and operation time is required. Building on the principle of approximate computing, we present a set of combinational logic circuits and memory based on multi-level logic gates in which we can trade reliability against energy efficiency. Keeping the energy and timing constraints constant, important data are encoded in a more robust binary format while error-tolerant data are encoded in a quaternary format. We analyze the behavior of the logic circuits when exposed to transient errors caused as a side effect of this encoding. We also evaluate the potential benefit of the logic circuits and memory by embedding them in a conventional computer system on which we execute jpeg, sobel, and blackscholes approximately. We demonstrate that blackscholes is not suitable for such a system and explain why. However, we also achieve dynamic energy reductions of 10% and 13% for jpeg and sobel, respectively, and improve execution time by 38% for sobel, while maintaining adequate output quality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York, NY, USA, 2019. Vol. 16, no 1, article id 5
Keywords [en]
approximate computing, quaternary
National Category
Computer Systems
Research subject
Computer Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-396028DOI: 10.1145/3359620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-396028DiVA, id: diva2:1366441
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-05159Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-12-06

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Sakalis, ChristosJimborean, AlexandraKaxiras, Stefanos

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