Approximate 32-Bit Floating-Point Unit Design with 53% Power-Area Product Reduction
The floating-point unit is one of the most common building block in any computing system and is used for a huge number of applications. By combining two state-of-the-art techniques of imprecise hardware, namely Gate-Level Pruning and Inexact Speculative Adder, and by introducing a novel Inexact Speculative Multiplier architecture, three different approximate FPUs and one reference IEEE-754 compliant FPU have been integrated in a 65 nm CMOS process within a low-power multi-core processor. Silicon measurements show up to 27% power, 36% area and 53%power-area product savings compared to the IEEE-754 single-precision FPU. Accuracy loss has been evaluated with a high-dynamic-range image tone-mapping algorithm, resulting in small but non-visible errors with image PSNR value of 90 dB.