Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

An Efficient Division Circuit for Stochastic Computing

Technology #7106

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Researchers
Te-Hsuan Chen
Managed By
Joohee Kim
Licensing Specialist, Physical Sciences & Engineering 734.764.8202
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

Stochastic computing (SC) encodes data in the signal probabilities associated with pseudo-random bit-streams. It enables very low-area and low-power arithmetic operations using standard VLSI circuits; it is also highly error-tolerant. While addition, subtraction and multiplication have extremely simple SC implementations, this is not true for division. Known stochastic dividers employ sequential logic circuits whose accuracy, convergence properties, etc., are unsatisfactory or not well understood. As a result, division is usually avoided or approximated in SC design.

An Efficient Division Circuit for Stochastic Computing

The inventors report a novel division technique called CORDIV. CORDIV not only has lower cost than previous stochastic dividers, but is also significantly more accurate. Area is reduced mainly because CORDIV requires less overhead for stochastic number conversion. The inventors provide experimental data showing a typical 3x reduction in area and about a 10x improvement in accuracy.

Applications

  • Synthesis of larger arithmetic systems
  • Image processing systems
  • Neuromorphic networks
  • Decoding modern error-correcting codes

Advantages

  • Lower cost than previous stochastic dividers (3x reduction in area)
  • Significantly more accurate (10x improvement in accuracy)