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Medium-Grain Cells for Reconfigurable DSP Hardware

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2 Author(s)
Myjak, M.J. ; Pacific Northwest Nat. Lab., Richland ; Delgado-Frias, J.G.

Reconfigurable hardware contains an array of programmable cells and interconnection structures. Field-programmable gate arrays use fine-grain cells that implement simple logic functions. Some proposed reconfigurable architectures for digital signal processing (DSP) use coarse-grain cells that perform 16-b or 32-b operations. A third alternative is to use medium-grain cells with a word length of 4 or 8 b. This approach combines high flexibility with inherent support for binary arithmetic such as multiplication. This paper presents two medium-grain cells for reconfigurable DSP hardware. Both cells contain an array of small lookup tables, or ldquoelementsrdquo, that can assume two structures. In memory mode, the elements act as a random-access memory. In mathematics mode, the elements implement 4-b arithmetic operations. The first design uses a matrix of 4 times 4 elements and operates in bit-parallel fashion. The second design uses an array of five elements and computes arithmetic functions in bit-serial fashion. Layout simulations in 180-nm CMOS indicate that the parallel cell operates at 267 MHz, whereas the serial cell runs at 167 MHz. However, the parallel design requires over twice the area. The proposed medium-grain cells provide the performance and flexibility needed to implement DSP. To evaluate the designs, the paper estimates the execution time and resource utilization for common benchmarks such as the fast Fourier transform. The architecture model used in this analysis combines the cells with a pipelined hierarchical interconnection network. The end results show great promise compared to other devices, including field-programmable gate arrays.

Published in:

Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

June 2007

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