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Customising floating-point designs

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4 Author(s)
Gaffar, A.A. ; Dept. of Comput., Imperial Coll., London, UK ; Luk, W. ; Cheung, P.Y.K. ; Shirazi, N.

This paper describes a method for customising the representation of floating-point numbers that exploits the flexibility of reconfigurable hardware. The method determines the appropriate size of mantissa and exponent for each operation in a design, so that a cost function with a given error specification for the output relative to a reference representation can be satisfied. Currently our tool, which adopts an iterative implementation of this method, supports single- or double-precision floating-point representation as the reference representation. It produces customised floating-point formats with arbitrary-sized mantissa and exponent. Results show that, for calculations involving large dynamic ranges, our method can achieve significant hardware reduction and speed improvement with respect to a design adopting the reference representation.

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Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, 2002. Proceedings. 10th Annual IEEE Symposium on

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