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The Role of Memories in Transprecision Computing

: Weis, Christian; Jung, Matthias; Zulian, Éder F.; Sudarshan, Chirag; Mathew, Deepak M.; Wehn, Norbert


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers -IEEE-:
IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2018. Proceedings : 27-30 May 2018, Florence, Italy
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5386-4881-0
ISBN: 978-1-5386-4882-7
5 pp.
International Symposium on Circuits and Systems (ISCAS) <2018, Florence>
European Commission EC
Horizon 2020; 732631; OPRECOMP
Open transPREcision COMPuting
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IESE ()
Random access memory; Bandwidth; Error correction codes; Memory management; Power demand; Program processors

Computing paradigms largely evolved over the last decades mainly driven by continuously increasing performance requirements, energy efficiency and power density challenges. Heterogeneous highly parallel architectures enhanced with dedicated accelerators tuned to specific applications, near-threshold computing, and recently approximate computing are examples of these new approaches. In this context the memory part was relatively untouched. However, memories play a central role in any computing system, are a major source of power consumption, and limit in many applications the overall compute performance. In this paper, we focus mainly on Dynamic Random Access Memories (DRAMs), which are today's most prominent external memories. In transprecision computing we address the DRAM memory challenge by several new approaches that are strongly related to the new techniques known on the compute side. In particular, these are the concept of approximate DRAM, advanced power-down modes and the integration of application knowledge into the memory system.