Near-Precise Parameter Approximation for Multiple Multiplications on A Single DSP Block

Ercan Kalali*, Rene Van Leuken

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


DSP blocks are one of the efficient solutions to implement multiply-accumulate (MAC) operations on FPGAs. However, since the DSP blocks have wide multiplier and adder blocks, MAC operations using low bit-length parameters lead to an underutilization. Hence, an efficient approximation technique is introduced. The technique includes manipulation and approximation of the low bit-length parameters based upon a Single DSP - Multiple Multiplication (SDMM) execution. The accuracy of the developed optimization technique was evaluated for different CNN weight bit precisions using the Alexnet and VGG-16 networks and the ImageNet ILSVRC-2012 dataset. The optimization can be implemented without loss of accuracy in almost all cases, while it causes slight accuracy losses in a few cases. Through these optimizations, multiple parameter multiplications are performed in a single DSP block at the cost of a small hardware overhead. As a result of our optimizations, the parameters are represented in a different format on off-chip memory, providing up to 33% compression without any hardware cost. A prototype systolic array architecture was implemented employing our optimizations on a Xilinx Zynq FPGA. It reduced the number of DSP blocks by 66.6%, 75%, and 83.3% for 8, 6, and 4-bit input variables, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9566777
Pages (from-to)2036-2047
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computers
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Approximate computing
  • multiple multiplications
  • DSP blocks
  • FPGA
  • systolic array


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