Power and area efficient sorting networks using unary processing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sorting is a common task in a wide range of applications from signal and image processing to switching systems. For applications that require high performance, sorting is often performed in hardware. Hardware cost and power consumption are the dominant concerns. The usual approach is to wire up a network of compare-and-swap units in a configuration called a Batcher (or Bitonic) network. This paper proposes a novel area-and power-efficient approach to sorting networks based on 'unary processing.' Data is encoded as serial bit-streams, with values represented by the fraction of 1's in a stream of 0's and 1's. (This is an evolution of prior work on stochastic logic. Unlike stochastic logic, the unary approach is deterministic and completely accurate.) Synthesis results of complete sorting networks show up to 87% area and power saving compared to the conventional binary implementations. However, the latency increases. To mitigate the increased latency, the paper uses a novel time-encoding of data. The approach is validated with implementation of an important application of sorting: median filtering. The result is a low-cost, energy-efficient implementation of median filtering with only a slight accuracy loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 35th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages125-128
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781538622544
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 22 2017
Event35th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2017 - Boston, United States
Duration: Nov 5 2017Nov 8 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings - 35th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2017

Other

Other35th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2017
CountryUnited States
CityBoston
Period11/5/1711/8/17

Keywords

  • Sorting networks
  • low-cost design
  • median filtering
  • stochastic computing
  • time-encoding data
  • unary processing

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