|Institution:||University of Manchester|
|Keywords:||CMOS; VLSI; parameter mismatch; image processing; binary image skeletonization; delay lines; factor graphs; belief propagation; Bayesian networks; trigger-wave propagation; cellular processor arrays|
|Full text PDF:||http://www.manchester.ac.uk/escholar/uk-ac-man-scw:229188|
The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to investigate alternative ways of information processing employing asynchronous, data driven, and analogue computation in massively parallel cellular processor arrays, with applications in machine vision and artificial intelligence. The use of cellular processor architectures, with only local neighbourhood connectivity, is considered in VLSI realisations of the trigger-wave propagation in binary image processing, and in Bayesian inference. Design issues, critical in terms of the computational precision and system performance, are extensively analysed, accounting for the non-ideal operation of MOS devices caused by the second order effects, noise and parameter mismatch. In particular, CMOS hardware solutions for two specific tasks: binary image skeletonization and sum-product algorithm for belief propagation in factor graphs, are considered, targeting efficient design in terms of the processing speed, power, area, and computational precision.The major contributions of this research are in the area of continuous-time and discrete-time CMOS circuit design, with applications in moderate precision analogue and asynchronous computation, accounting for parameter variability. Various analogue and digital circuit realisations, operating in the continuous-time and discrete-time domains, are analysed in theory and verified using combined Matlab-Hspice simulations, providing a versatile framework suitable for custom specific analyses, verification and optimisation of the designed systems. Novel solutions, exhibiting reduced impact of parameter variability on the circuit operation, are presented and applied in the designs of the arithmetic circuits for matrix-vector operations and in the data driven asynchronous processor arrays for binary image processing. Several mismatch optimisation techniques are demonstrated, based on the use of switched-current approach in the design of current-mode Gilbert multiplier circuit, novel biasing scheme in the design of tunable delay gates, and averaging technique applied to the analogue continuous-time circuits realisations of Bayesian networks. The most promising circuit solutions were implemented on the PPATC test chip, fabricated in a standard 90 nm CMOS process, and verified in experiments.