Common-case computation: A high-level technique for power and performance optimization

Ganesh Lakshminarayana, Anand Raghunathan, Kamal S. Khouri, Niraj K. Jha, Sujit Dey

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


This paper presents a design methodology, called common-case computation (CCC), and new design automation algorithms for optimizing power consumption or performance. The proposed techniques are applicable in conjunction with any high-level design methodology where a structural register-transfer level (RTL) description and its corresponding scheduled behavioral (cycle-accurate functional RTL) description are available. It is a well-known fact that in behavioral descriptions of hardware (also in software), a small set of computations (CCCs) often accounts for most of the computational complexity. However, in hardware implementations (structural RTL or lower level), CCCs and the remaining computations are typically treated alike. This paper shows that identifying and exploiting CCCs during the design process can lead to implementations that are much more efficient in terms of power consumption or performance. We propose a CCC-based high-level design methodology with the following steps: extraction of common-case behaviors and execution conditions from the scheduled description, simplification of the common-case behaviors in a stand-alone manner, synthesis of common-case detection and execution circuits from the common-case behaviors, and composing the original design with the common-case circuits, resulting in a CCC-optimized design. We demonstrate that CCC-optimized designs reduce power consumption by up to 91.5%, or improve performance by up to 76.6% compared to designs derived without special regard for CCCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-61
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings - Design Automation Conference
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 36th Annual Design Automation Conference (DAC) - New Orleans, LA, USA
Duration: Jun 21 1999Jun 25 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Control and Systems Engineering


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