Lab 3: Multipliers

Lab 3 due date: Monday, October 2, 2017, at 11:59:59 PM EDT.

Your deliverables for Lab 3 are:


In this lab you will be building different multiplier implementations and testing them using custom instantiations of provided test bench templates. First, you will implement multipliers using repeated addition. Next, you will implement a Booth Multiplier using a folded architecture. Finally, you will build a faster multiplier by implementing a radix-4 Booth Multiplier.

The output of all of these modules will be tested with test benches that compare the output of the modules to BSV's * operator for functionality.

All of the materials for this lab are in the git repository $GITROOT/lab3.git. All discussion questions asked throughout this lab should be answered in discussion.txt. When you have completed the lab, commit your changes to the repository and push the changes.

Built-in Multiplication

BSV has a built-in operation for multiplication: *. It is either a signed or unsigned multiply depending on the types of the operands. For Bit#(n) and UInt#(n), the * operator performs unsigned multiplication. For Int#(n), it performs signed multiplication. Just like the + operator, the * operator assumes the inputs and the output are all the same type. If you want a 2n-bit result from n-bit operands, you have to first extend the operands to be 2n-bit values.

Multipliers.bsv contains functions for signed and unsigned multiplication on Bit#(n) inputs. Both functions return Bit#(TAdd#(n,n)) outputs. The code for these functions are shown below:

Note: pack and unpack are built-in functions that convert to and from Bit#(n) respectively.

function Bit#(TAdd#(n,n)) multiply_unsigned( Bit#(n) a, Bit#(n) b );
    UInt#(n) a_uint = unpack(a);
    UInt#(n) b_uint = unpack(b);
    UInt#(TAdd#(n,n)) product_uint = zeroExtend(a_uint) * zeroExtend(b_uint);
    return pack( product_uint );

function Bit#(TAdd#(n,n)) multiply_signed( Bit#(n) a, Bit#(n) b );
    Int#(n) a_int = unpack(a);
    Int#(n) b_int = unpack(b);
    Int#(TAdd#(n,n)) product_int = signExtend(a_int) * signExtend(b_int);
    return pack( product_int );

These functions will be the benchmark functions that your multipliers in this lab will be compared to for functionality.

Test Benches

This lab has two parameterized test bench templates that can be easily instantiated with specific parameters to test two multiplication functions against each other, or to test a multiplier module against a multiplier function. These parameters include functions and module interfaces. mkTbMulFunction compares the output of two functions with the same random inputs, and mkTbMulModule compares the outputs of a test module (the device under test or DUT) and a reference function with the same random inputs.

The following code shows how to implement test benches for specific functions and/or modules.

(* synthesize *)
module mkTbDumb();
    function Bit#(16) test_function( Bit#(8) a, Bit#(8) b ) = multiply_unsigned( a, b );
    Empty tb <- mkTbMulFunction(test_function, multiply_unsigned, True);
    return tb;

(* synthesize *)
module mkTbFoldedMultiplier();
    Multiplier#(8) dut <- mkFoldedMultiplier();
    Empty tb <- mkTbMulModule(dut, multiply_signed, True);
    return tb;

The two lines below instantiate a specific test bench using the test bench templates in TestBenchTemplates.bsv.

Empty tb <- mkTbMulFunction(test_function, multiply_unsigned, True);
Empty tb <- mkTbMulModule(dut, multiply_signed, True);

The first parameter in each (test_function and dut) is the function or the module to test. The second parameter (multiply_unsigned and multiply_signed) is the correctly implemented reference function. In this case, the reference functions were created using BSV's * operator. The last parameter is a boolean that designates if you want a verbose output. If you just want PASSED or FAILED to be printed by the test bench, set the last parameter to False.

These test benches (mkTbDumb and mkTbFoldedMultiplier) can be easily built using the provided Makefile. To compile these examples, you would write make Dumb.tb for the first and make FoldedMultiplier.tb for the second. The makefile will produce the executables simDumb and simFoldedMultiplier. To compile your own test bench mkTb<name>, run

$ make <name>.tb
$ ./sim<name>

There are no .tb files produced by the compilation process, the extension is just used to signal what build target should be used.

Exercise 1 (2 Points): In TestBench.bsv, write a test bench mkTbSignedVsUnsigned that tests if multiply_signed produces the same output as multiply_unsigned. Compile this test bench as described above and run it. (That is, run

$ make SignedVsUnsigned.tb

and then

$ ./simSignedVsUnsigned


Discussion Question 1 (1 Point): Hardware-wise, unsigned addition is the same as signed addition when using two's complement encoding. Using evidence from the test bench, is unsigned multiplication the same as signed multiplication?

Discussion Question 2 (2 Points): In mkTBDumb excluding the line

function Bit#(16) test_function( Bit#(8) a, Bit#(8) b ) = multiply_unsigned( a, b );

and modifying the rest of the module to have

(* synthesize *)
module mkTbDumb();
    Empty tb <- mkTbMulFunction(multiply_unsigned, multiply_unsigned, True);
    return tb;

will result in a compilation error. What is that error? How does the original code fix the compilation error? You could also fix the error by having two function definitions as shown below.

(* synthesize *)
module mkTbDumb();
    function Bit#(16) test_function( Bit#(8) a, Bit#(8) b ) = multiply_unsigned( a, b );
    function Bit#(16) ref_function( Bit#(8) a, Bit#(8) b ) = multiply_unsigned( a, b );
    Empty tb <- mkTbMulFunction(test_function, ref_function, True);
    return tb;

Why is two function definitions not necessary? (i.e. why can the second operand to mkTbMulFunction have variables in its type?) Hint: Look at the types of the operands of mkTbMulFunction in TestBenchTemplates.bsv.

Implementing Multiplication by Repeated Addition

As a Combinational Function

In Multipliers.bsv there is skeleton code for a function to calculate multiplication using repeated addition. Since this is a function, it must represent a combinational circuit.

Exercise 2 (3 Points): Fill in the code for multiply_by_adding so it calculates the product of a and b using repeated addition in a single clock cycle. (You will verify the correctness of your multiplier in Exercise 3.) If you need an adder to produce an (n+1)-bit output from two n-bit operands, follow the model of multiply_unsigned and multiply_signed and extend the operands to (n+1)-bit before adding.

Exercise 3 (1 Point): Fill in the test bench mkTbEx3 in TestBench.bsv to test the functionality of multiply_by_adding. Compile it with

$ make Ex3.tb

and run it with

$ ./simEx3

Discussion Question 3 (1 Point): Is your implementation of multiply_by_adding a signed multiplier or an unsigned multiplier? (Note: if it does not match either multiply_signed or multiply_unsigned, it is wrong).

As a Sequential Module

Multiplying two 32-bit numbers using repeated addition requires thirty-one 32-bit adders. Those adders can take a significant amount of area depending on the restrictions of your target and the rest of your design. In lecture, a folded version of the repeated addition multiplier was presented to reduce the amount of area needed for a multiplier. The folded version of the multiplier uses sequential circuitry to share a single 32-bit adder across all of the required computations by doing one of the required computations each clock cycle and storing the temporary result in a register.

In this lab we will create an n-bit folded multiplier. The register i will track how far the module is in the computation of the result. If 0 <= i < n, then there is a computation going on and the rule mul_step should be doing work and incrementing i. There are two ways to do this. The first way is to make a rule with an if statement within it like this:

rule mul_step;
    if( i < fromInteger(valueOf(n)) ) begin
        // Do stuff

This rule runs every cycle, but it only does stuff when i < n. The second way is to make a rule with a guard like this:

rule mul_step( i < fromInteger(valueOf(n)) );
    // Do stuff

This rule will not run every cycle. Instead, it will only run when its guard, i < fromInteger(valueOf(i)), is true. While this does not make a difference functionally, it makes a difference in the semantics of the BSV language and to the compiler. This difference will be covered later in the lectures, but until then, you should use guards in your designs for this lab. If not, you may encounter test benches failing because they run out of cycles.

Note: the BSV compiler prevents multiple rules from firing in the same cycle if they may write to the same register (sort of...). The BSV compiler treats the rule mul_step as if it writes to i every time it fires. There is a rule in the test bench that feeds inputs to the multiplier module, and since it calls the start method, it also writes to i every time it fires. The BSV compiler sees these conflicting rules and spits out a compiler warning that it is going to treat one as more urgent than the other and never fire them together. It normally chooses mul_step, and since that rule fires every cycle, it prevents the test bench rule from ever feeding inputs to the module.

When i reaches n, there is a result ready for reading, so result_ready should return true. When the action value method result is called, the state of i should increase by 1 to n+1. i == n+1 denotes that the module is ready to start again, so start_ready should return true. When the action method start is called, the states of all the registers in the module (including i) should be set to the correct value so the computation can start again.

Exercise 4 (4 Points): Fill in the code for the module mkFoldedMultiplier to implement a folded repeated addition multiplier.

Can you implement it without using a variable-shift bit shifter? Without using dynamic bit selection? (In other words, can you avoid shifting or bit selection by a value stored in a register?)

Exercise 5 (1 Points): Fill in the test bench mkTbEx5 to test the functionality of mkFoldedMultiplier against multiply_by_adding. They should produce the same outputs if you implemented mkFoldedMultiplier correctly. To run these, run

$ make Ex5.tb
$ ./simEx5

Booth's Multiplication Algorithm

The repeated addition algorithm works well multiplying unsigned inputs, but it is not able to multiply (negative) numbers in two's complement encoding. To multiply signed numbers, you need a different multiplication algorithm.

Booth's Multiplication Algorithm is an algorithm that works with signed two's complement numbers. This algorithm encodes one of the operands with a special encoding that enables its use with signed numbers. This encoding is sometimes known as a Booth encoding. A Booth encoding of a number is sometimes written with the symbols +, -, and 0 in a series like this: 0+-0b. This encoded number is similar to a binary number because each place in the number represents the same power of two. A + in the ith bit represents (+1) · 2i, but a - in the ith bit correspond to (-1) · 2i.

The Booth encoding for a binary number can be obtained bitwise by looking at the current bit and the previous (less significant) bit of the original number. When encoding the least significant bit, a zero is assumed as the previous bit. The table below shows the conversion to Booth encoding.

Current BitPrevious BitBooth Encoding

The Booth multiplication algorithm can best be described as the repeated addition algorithm using the Booth encoding of the multiplier. Instead of switching between adding 0 or adding the multiplicand as in repeated addition, the Booth algorithm switches between adding 0, adding the multiplicand, or subtracting the multiplicand, depending on the Booth encoding of the multiplier. The example below shows a multiplicand m is being multiplied by a negative number by converting the multiplier to its Booth encoding.

-5 · m= 1011b · m
= -+0-b · m
= (-m) · 23 + m · 22 + (-m) · 20
= -8m + 4m - m
= -5m

The Booth multiplication algorithm can be implemented efficiently in hardware using the following algorithm. This algorithm assumes an n-bit multiplicand m is being multiplied by an n-bit multiplier r.

    // All 2n+1 bits wide
    m_pos = {m, 0}
    m_neg = {(-m), 0}
    p = {0, r, 1'b0}

repeat n times:
    let pr = two least significant bits of p
    if ( pr == 2'b01 ): p = p + m_pos;
    if ( pr == 2'b10 ): p = p + m_neg;
    if ( pr == 2'b00 or pr == 2'b11 ): do nothing;

    Arithmetically shift p one bit to the right;

res = 2n most significant bits of p;

The notation (-m) is the two's complement inverse of m. Since the most negative number in two's complement has no positive counterpart, this algorithm does not work when m = 10...0b. Because of this restriction, the test bench has been modified to avoid the most negative number when testing.

Note: This is not a good way to design hardware. Never remove tests from your test bench just because your hardware fails them. One way around this problem is to implement an (n+1)-bit Booth multiplier to perform n-bit signed multiplication by sign extending the inputs. If you are zero-extending the inputs instead of sign-extending them, you can get the n-bit unsigned product of the two inputs. If you add an extra input to the multiplier that allows you to switch between sign-extending and zero-extending the inputs, then you have a 32-bit multiplier that you can switch between signed and unsigned multiplication. This functionality would be useful for processors that have signed and unsigned multiplication instructions.

This algorithm also uses an arithmetic shift. This is a shift designed for signed numbers. When shifting the number to the right, it shifts in the old value of the most significant bit back into the MSB place to keep the sign of the value of the same. This is done in BSV when shifting values of type Int#(n). To do an arithmetic shift for Bit#(n), you may want to write your own function similar to multiply_signed. This function would convert Bit#(n) to Int#(n), do the shift, and then convert back.

Exercise 6 (4 Points}: Fill in the implementation for a folded version of the Booth multiplication algorithm in the module mkBooth: This module uses a parameterized input size n; your implementation will be expected to work for all n >= 2.

Exercise 7 (1 Point): Fill in the test benches mkTbEx7a and mkTbEx7b for your Booth multiplier to test different bit widths of your choice. You can test them with:

$ make Ex7a.tb
$ ./simEx7a


$ make Ex7b.tb
$ ./simEx7b

Radix-4 Booth Multiplier

One more advantage of the Booth multiplier is that it can be sped up efficiently by performing two steps of the original Booth algorithm at a time. This is equivalent to performing two bits worth of partial sum additions per cycle. This method of speeding up the Booth algorithm is known as the radix-4 Booth multiplier.

The radix-4 Booth multiplier looks at two current bits at a time when encoding the multiplier. The radix-4 multiplier is able to run faster than the original one because each two bit Booth encoding can be reduced down to a Booth encoding with no more than one non-zero bit. For example, the bits 01 following a previous (less significant) 0 bit is converted to +- with the original Booth encoding. +- represents 2i+1-2i which is equal to 2i which is just 0+. The table below shows one of the cases for the radix-4 Booth encoding (you'll fill out the rest of the table in the next discussion question).

Current BitsPrevious BitOriginal Booth EncodingRadix-4 Booth Encoding

Discussion Question 4 (1 Point): Fill in above table in discussion.txt. None of the Radix-4 Booth encodings should have more than one non-zero symbol in them.

Some pseudocode for a radix-4 Booth multiplier can be seen below:

    // All 2n + 2 bits wide
    m_pos = {msb(m), m, 0}
    m_neg = {msb(-m), (-m), 0}
    p = {0, r, 1'b0}

repeat n/2 times:
    let pr = three least significant bits of p
    if ( pr == 3'b000 ): do nothing;
    if ( pr == 3'b001 ): p = p + m_pos;
    if ( pr == 3'b010 ): p = p + m_pos;
    if ( pr == 3'b011 ): p = p + (m_pos << 1);
    if ( pr == 3'b100 ): ...
        ... fill in rest from table ...

    Arithmetically shift p two bits to the right;

res = p with MSB and LSB chopped off;

Exercise 8 (2 Points): Fill in the implementation for a radix-4 Booth multiplier in the module mkBoothRadix4. This module uses a parameterized input size n; your implementation will be expected to work for all even n >= 2.

Exercise 9 (1 Point): Fill in test benches mkTbEx9a and mkTbEx9b for your radix-4 Booth multiplier to test different even bit widths of your choice. You can test them with

$ make Ex9a.tb
$ ./simEx9a


$ make Ex9b.tb
$ ./simEx9b

Discussion Question 5 (1 Point): Now consider extending your Booth multiplier even further to a radix-8 Booth multiplier. This would be like doing 3 steps of the radix-2 Booth multiplier in a single step. Can all radix-8 Booth encodings be represented with only one non-zero symbol like the radix-4 Booth multiplier? Do you think it would still make sense to make a radix-8 Booth multiplier?

Discussion Question 6 (Optional): How long did you take to work on this lab?

When you have completed all the exercises and your code works, commit your changes to the repository, and push your changes back to the source.