Skip to Main Content
This paper introduces a design tool and its associated procedures for determining the sensitivity of outputs in a digital signal processing design to small errors introduced by rounding or truncation of internal variables. The proposed approach can be applied to both linear and nonlinear designs. By analyzing the resulting sensitivity values, the proposed procedure is able to determine an appropriate distinct word-length for each internal variable. Also in this paper, the power optimizing capabilities of word-length optimization are studied for the first time. Application of the proposed procedure to adaptive filters realized in a Xilinx Virtex FPGA (field programmable gate array) has resulted in area reductions of up to 80% combined with power reductions of up to 98% and speed-up of up to 36% over common alternative design strategies.