Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers
In embedded computing, typically some form of silicon area or power budget restricts the potential performance achievable. For algorithms with limited dynamic range, custom hardware accelerators manage to extract significant additional performance for such a budget via mapping operations in the algorithm to fixed-point. However, for complex applications requiring floating-point computation, the potential performance improvement over software is reduced. Nonetheless, custom hardware can still customize the precision of floating-point operators, unlike software which is restricted to IEEE standard single or double precision, to increase the overall performance at the cost of increasing the error observed in the final computational result.