Px-cgra: Polymorphic approximate coarse-grained reconfigurable architecture

Omid Akbari, Mehdi Kamal, Ali Afzali-Kusha, Massoud Pedram, Muhammad Shafique

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


Coarse-Grained Reconfigurable Architectures (CGRAs) provide tradeoff between the energy-efficiency of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and the flexibility of General Purpose Processors (GPPs). State-of-The-Art CGRAs only support exact architectures and precise application executions. However, a majority of the streaming applications such as multimedia and digital signal processing, which are amenable to CGRAs, are inherently error resilient. Therefore, these applications can greatly benefit from the emerging trend of Approximate Computing that leverages this error-resiliency to provide higher energy efficiency proportional to the tolerable accuracy loss (can even be constrained). This paper, for the first time, introduces the novel concept of Polymorphic Approximate CGRA (PX-CGRA) that employs heterogeneous tiles of Polymorphic-Approximated ALU Clusters (PACs) connected in a 2-D mesh style connection. These PACs can implement different approximate modes as well as accurate modes depending upon their selected configuration as per the run-Time requirements of executing applications. For designing an efficient PX-CGRA, we propose a bottom-up design flow. In addition, the flow of application mapping on PX-CGRA is discussed including accuracy-level mapping, scheduling, and binding steps. To comprehensively evaluate the efficacy of the proposed CGRA, the complete PX-CGRA architecture in different sizes as well as with different PACs configurations are synthesized using a 15-nm FinFET technology. Our results show up to 15%-45% energy efficiency improvement for 5%-35% output quality degradation, respectively, when compared to the state-of-The-Art exact-mode CGRA. Our proposed architecture and design methodology enable a new era of accuracy-configurable CGRAs to provide significant energy gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2018 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2018
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783981926316
StatePublished - Apr 19 2018
Event2018 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2018 - Dresden, Germany
Duration: Mar 19 2018Mar 23 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2018 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2018


Other2018 Design, Automation and Test in Europe Conference and Exhibition, DATE 2018


  • Adder
  • Approximate computing
  • Coarse-grained reconfigurable architecture
  • Dark silicon
  • Design
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Heterogeneous
  • Multiplier
  • Quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software
  • Information Systems and Management


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