Near-optimal metastability-containing sorting networks

Johannes Bund, Christoph Lenzen, Moti Medina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Metastability in digital circuits is a spurious mode of operation induced by violation of setup/hold times of stateful components. It cannot be avoided deterministically when transitioning from continuously-valued to (discrete) binary signals. However, in prior work (Lenzen & Medina ASYNC 2016) it has been shown that it is possible to fully and deterministically contain the effect of metastability in sorting networks. More specifically, the sorting operation incurs no loss of precision, i.e., any inaccuracy of the output originates from mapping the continuous input range to a finite domain. The downside of this prior result is inefficiency: for B-bit inputs, the circuit for a single comparison contains Θ(B2) gates and has depth Θ(B). In this work, we present an improved solution with near-optimal Θ(B log B) gates and asymptotically optimal Θ(log B) depth. On the practical side, our sorting networks improves over prior work for all input lengths B > 2, e.g., for 16-bit inputs we present an improvement of more than 70% in depth of the sorting network and more than 60% in cost of the sorting network.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2017 Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2017
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783981537093
StatePublished - 11 May 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event20th Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2017 - Swisstech, Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 27 Mar 201731 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2017 Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2017


Conference20th Design, Automation and Test in Europe, DATE 2017
CitySwisstech, Lausanne

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 IEEE.


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