A low energy dual-mode adder

Shmuel Wimer, Amir Albeck, Israel Koren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


VLSI designs are typically data-independent and as such, they must produce the correct result even for the worst-case inputs. Adders in particular assume that addition must be completed within prescribed number of clock cycles, independently of the operands. While the longest carry propagation of an n-bit adder is n bits, its expected length is only O(log2 n) bits. We present a novel dual-mode adder architecture that reduces the average energy consumption in up to 50%. In normal mode the adder targets the O(log2 n)-bit average worst-case carry propagation chains, while in extended mode it accommodates the less frequent O(n)-bit chain. We prove that minimum energy is achieved when the adder is designed for O(log2 n) carry propagation, and present a circuit implementation. Dual-mode adders enable voltage scaling of the entire system, potentially supporting further overall energy reduction. The energy-time tradeoff obtained when incorporating such adders in ordinary microprocessor's pipeline and other architectures is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1524-1537
Number of pages14
JournalComputers and Electrical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was partially funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) under Grant Number 1678/13 and by the MAGNET Program of Israel Ministry of Industry (Alpha consortium). The authors wish to thank Mickey Geftler and Ophir Turbovich of CSR (formerly Zoran) for helpful discussions.


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