doi: 10.7873/DATE.2015.0024

An Approximate Voting Scheme for Reliable Computing

Ke Chen1,a, Fabrizio Lombardi1,b and Jie Han2

1Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

2Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


This paper relies on the principles of inexact computing to alleviate the issues arising in static masking by voting for reliable computing. A scheme that utilizes approximate voting is proposed; it is referred to as inexact double modular redundancy (IDMR). IDMR does not resort to triplication, thus saving overhead due to modular replication; moreover, this scheme is adaptive in its operation, i.e., it allows a threshold to determine the validity of the module outputs. IDMR operates by initially establishing the difference between the values of the outputs of the two modules; only if the difference is below a preset threshold, then the voter calculates the average value of the two module outputs. An extensive analysis of the voting circuits and an application to image processing are presented.

Keywords: Approximate computing, Reliable system, Modular redundancy, Voting.

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