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This paper presents a flexible 2/spl times/2 matrix multiplier architecture. The architecture is based on word-width decomposition for flexible but high-speed operation. The elements in the matrices are successively decomposed so that a set of small multipliers and simple adders are used to generate partial results, which are combined to generate the final results. An energy reduction mechanism is incorporated in the architecture to minimize the power dissipation due to unnecessary switching of logic. Two types of decomposition schemes are discussed, which support 2's complement inputs, and its overall functionality is verified and designed with a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The architecture can be easily extended to a reconfigurable matrix multiplier. We provide results on performance of the proposed architecture from FPGA post-synthesis results. We summarize design factors influencing the overall execution speed and complexity.