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Design and Synthesis of Approximate Computing Circuits
Date: 2016/12/27             Browse: 157
Seminar Topic: Design and Synthesis of Approximate Computing Circuits

Speaker: Weikang Qian
Time: Dec. 27, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Venue:  Room 1A-200, SIST Building

As CMOS technology is scaled into the nanometer regime, power consumption has become one of the paramount concerns in designing VLSI circuits. At the same time, with the prevalence of mobile and embedded computing, there is an increasing demand for signal processing, multimedia, machine learning, and pattern recognition applications. One feature of these applications is that they can tolerate some error in the computation results. The relaxation of the accuracy requirement for these applications leads to a new design paradigm, known as approximate computing. It deliberately sacrifices a small amount of accuracy to achieve improvement in performance and power consumption.

In this talk, I will first introduce the background on approximate computing. Then, I will present our research works in this area. The first topic is a novel approximate adder which has very low error rate and relative error while significantly reduces the power consumption compared to the accurate adders. It is suitable for many error-tolerant applications, such as image processing and machine learning. The second topic is an algorithm that automatically synthesizes circuits for approximate computing. The algorithm explores the design space and returns an optimal design that satisfies the error specification.

Weikang Qian is an assistant professor in the University of Michigan-Shanghai Jiao Tong University Joint Institute at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota in 2011 and his B.Eng. degree in Automation at Tsinghua University in 2006. His main research interests include electronic design automation and digital design for emerging technologies. His research works were nominated for the Best Paper Awards at the 2009 International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD) and the 2016 International Workshop on Logic and Synthesis (IWLS).

Seminar 16095