This paper explores the effectiveness of different knobs to dynamically trade energy consumption with output quality in approximate SRAMs for error-tolerant applications (such as video). Leveraging the different impact of errors on quality at most significant bit (MSB) and least significant bit (LSB) positions, energy savings higher than those provided by simple voltage scaling are enabled. Firstly, a comparison of two techniques, dual-VDD and LSB dropping, is carried out showing that the latter is preferable thanks to its intrinsic simplicity and more pronounced energy savings. Secondly, a selective Error Correction Code (ECC) technique which reuses the LSBs as check bits to protect MSBs is investigated. Measurements on a 28nm CMOS 32kb SRAM show that bit dropping and bit reuse achieve an energy reduction of up to 33% and 28%, compared to simple voltage scaling at iso-quality. When combined together, the two techniques achieve a better energy saving (40%) and a supply voltage reduction of about 100mV at iso-quality. Finally, guidelines to select the energy-optimal combination of the two techniques are provided for a given quality target.
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|Titolo:||Better-than-voltage scaling energy reduction in approximate SRAMs via bit dropping and bit reuse|
FRUSTACI, Fabio (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|