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Design and analysis of a dual supply class H audio amplifier

Description

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to

Efficiency of components is an ever increasing area of importance to portable applications, where a finite battery means finite operating time. Higher efficiency devices need to be designed that don't compromise on the performance that the consumer has come to expect. Class D amplifiers deliver on the goal of increased efficiency, but at the cost of distortion. Class AB amplifiers have low efficiency, but high linearity. By modulating the supply voltage of a Class AB amplifier to make a Class H amplifier, the efficiency can increase while still maintaining the Class AB level of linearity. A 92dB Power Supply Rejection Ratio (PSRR) Class AB amplifier and a Class H amplifier were designed in a 0.24um process for portable audio applications. Using a multiphase buck converter increased the efficiency of the Class H amplifier while still maintaining a fast response time to respond to audio frequencies. The Class H amplifier had an efficiency above the Class AB amplifier by 5-7% from 5-30mW of output power without affecting the total harmonic distortion (THD) at the design specifications. The Class H amplifier design met all design specifications and showed performance comparable to the designed Class AB amplifier across 1kHz-20kHz and 0.01mW-30mW. The Class H design was able to output 30mW into 16Ohms without any increase in THD. This design shows that Class H amplifiers merit more research into their potential for increasing efficiency of audio amplifiers and that even simple designs can give significant increases in efficiency without compromising linearity.

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Date Created
2013

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Embedding Logic and Non-volatile Devices in CMOS Digital Circuits for Improving Energy Efficiency

Description

Static CMOS logic has remained the dominant design style of digital systems for

more than four decades due to its robustness and near zero standby current. Static

CMOS logic circuits consist of a network of combinational logic cells and clocked sequential

elements, such

Static CMOS logic has remained the dominant design style of digital systems for

more than four decades due to its robustness and near zero standby current. Static

CMOS logic circuits consist of a network of combinational logic cells and clocked sequential

elements, such as latches and flip-flops that are used for sequencing computations

over time. The majority of the digital design techniques to reduce power, area, and

leakage over the past four decades have focused almost entirely on optimizing the

combinational logic. This work explores alternate architectures for the flip-flops for

improving the overall circuit performance, power and area. It consists of three main

sections.

First, is the design of a multi-input configurable flip-flop structure with embedded

logic. A conventional D-type flip-flop may be viewed as realizing an identity function,

in which the output is simply the value of the input sampled at the clock edge. In

contrast, the proposed multi-input flip-flop, named PNAND, can be configured to

realize one of a family of Boolean functions called threshold functions. In essence,

the PNAND is a circuit implementation of the well-known binary perceptron. Unlike

other reconfigurable circuits, a PNAND can be configured by simply changing the

assignment of signals to its inputs. Using a standard cell library of such gates, a technology

mapping algorithm can be applied to transform a given netlist into one with

an optimal mixture of conventional logic gates and threshold gates. This approach

was used to fabricate a 32-bit Wallace Tree multiplier and a 32-bit booth multiplier

in 65nm LP technology. Simulation and chip measurements show more than 30%

improvement in dynamic power and more than 20% reduction in core area.

The functional yield of the PNAND reduces with geometry and voltage scaling.

The second part of this research investigates the use of two mechanisms to improve

the robustness of the PNAND circuit architecture. One is the use of forward and reverse body biases to change the device threshold and the other is the use of RRAM

devices for low voltage operation.

The third part of this research focused on the design of flip-flops with non-volatile

storage. Spin-transfer torque magnetic tunnel junctions (STT-MTJ) are integrated

with both conventional D-flipflop and the PNAND circuits to implement non-volatile

logic (NVL). These non-volatile storage enhanced flip-flops are able to save the state of

system locally when a power interruption occurs. However, manufacturing variations

in the STT-MTJs and in the CMOS transistors significantly reduce the yield, leading

to an overly pessimistic design and consequently, higher energy consumption. A

detailed analysis of the design trade-offs in the driver circuitry for performing backup

and restore, and a novel method to design the energy optimal driver for a given yield is

presented. Efficient designs of two nonvolatile flip-flop (NVFF) circuits are presented,

in which the backup time is determined on a per-chip basis, resulting in minimizing

the energy wastage and satisfying the yield constraint. To achieve a yield of 98%,

the conventional approach would have to expend nearly 5X more energy than the

minimum required, whereas the proposed tunable approach expends only 26% more

energy than the minimum. A non-volatile threshold gate architecture NV-TLFF are

designed with the same backup and restore circuitry in 65nm technology. The embedded

logic in NV-TLFF compensates performance overhead of NVL. This leads to the

possibility of zero-overhead non-volatile datapath circuits. An 8-bit multiply-and-

accumulate (MAC) unit is designed to demonstrate the performance benefits of the

proposed architecture. Based on the results of HSPICE simulations, the MAC circuit

with the proposed NV-TLFF cells is shown to consume at least 20% less power and

area as compared to the circuit designed with conventional DFFs, without sacrificing

any performance.

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Created

Date Created
2018

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Hardware Acceleration of Deep Convolutional Neural Networks on FPGA

Description

The rapid improvement in computation capability has made deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) a great success in recent years on many computer vision tasks with significantly improved accuracy. During the inference phase, many applications demand low latency processing of one

The rapid improvement in computation capability has made deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) a great success in recent years on many computer vision tasks with significantly improved accuracy. During the inference phase, many applications demand low latency processing of one image with strict power consumption requirement, which reduces the efficiency of GPU and other general-purpose platform, bringing opportunities for specific acceleration hardware, e.g. FPGA, by customizing the digital circuit specific for the deep learning algorithm inference. However, deploying CNNs on portable and embedded systems is still challenging due to large data volume, intensive computation, varying algorithm structures, and frequent memory accesses. This dissertation proposes a complete design methodology and framework to accelerate the inference process of various CNN algorithms on FPGA hardware with high performance, efficiency and flexibility.

As convolution contributes most operations in CNNs, the convolution acceleration scheme significantly affects the efficiency and performance of a hardware CNN accelerator. Convolution involves multiply and accumulate (MAC) operations with four levels of loops. Without fully studying the convolution loop optimization before the hardware design phase, the resulting accelerator can hardly exploit the data reuse and manage data movement efficiently. This work overcomes these barriers by quantitatively analyzing and optimizing the design objectives (e.g. memory access) of the CNN accelerator based on multiple design variables. An efficient dataflow and hardware architecture of CNN acceleration are proposed to minimize the data communication while maximizing the resource utilization to achieve high performance.

Although great performance and efficiency can be achieved by customizing the FPGA hardware for each CNN model, significant efforts and expertise are required leading to long development time, which makes it difficult to catch up with the rapid development of CNN algorithms. In this work, we present an RTL-level CNN compiler that automatically generates customized FPGA hardware for the inference tasks of various CNNs, in order to enable high-level fast prototyping of CNNs from software to FPGA and still keep the benefits of low-level hardware optimization. First, a general-purpose library of RTL modules is developed to model different operations at each layer. The integration and dataflow of physical modules are predefined in the top-level system template and reconfigured during compilation for a given CNN algorithm. The runtime control of layer-by-layer sequential computation is managed by the proposed execution schedule so that even highly irregular and complex network topology, e.g. GoogLeNet and ResNet, can be compiled. The proposed methodology is demonstrated with various CNN algorithms, e.g. NiN, VGG, GoogLeNet and ResNet, on two different standalone FPGAs achieving state-of-the art performance.

Based on the optimized acceleration strategy, there are still a lot of design options, e.g. the degree and dimension of computation parallelism, the size of on-chip buffers, and the external memory bandwidth, which impact the utilization of computation resources and data communication efficiency, and finally affect the performance and energy consumption of the accelerator. The large design space of the accelerator makes it impractical to explore the optimal design choice during the real implementation phase. Therefore, a performance model is proposed in this work to quantitatively estimate the accelerator performance and resource utilization. By this means, the performance bottleneck and design bound can be identified and the optimal design option can be explored early in the design phase.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
2018