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An efficient architecture for carry select adder

Vaithiyanathan Dhandapani (Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, College of Engineering Guindy, Anna University, Chennai, India)

World Journal of Engineering

ISSN: 1708-5284

Article publication date: 12 June 2017



Adders play a vital role in almost all digital designs, as all four arithmetic operations can be confined within addition. Hence, area and power optimization of the adders will result in overall circuit optimization. Being the fastest adder, the carry select adder (CSLA) gains higher importance among the different adder styles. However, it suffers from the drawback of increased power and area. The implementation of CSLA in digital circuits requires lots of study for optimization. Hence, to overcome this problem, various improvements were made to the CSLA structure to reduce area and, consequently, reduce power. Among these, modified CSLAs show a significant improvement, as they utilize a binary excess-1 code (BEC) to replace the add-one circuit.


This paper presents further enhancement in the modified CSLA by proposing a decision-based CSLA, which activates BEC on demand. This leads to reduced switching activity. The performance of the proposal is done by analyzing and comparing it with different adders. The comparison is done on the basis of three performance parameters: area, speed and power consumption. This is done by implementing the architecture on Xilinx Virtex5 XC5VLX30 in Verilog environment and is synthesized using Cadence® RTL Compiler® using TSMC 180-nm CMOS cell library.


Optimization of power, area and increasing the speed of operation are the three main areas of research in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) design for portable devices. As adders are the most fundamental units for any VLSI design, optimization at the adder level has a huge impact on the overall circuit. The modified CSLA has a BEC which continuously switches irrespective of the previous carry bit generated. The unwanted switching results in excess power consumption while also introducing additional delay. Hence, the author has proposed a decider circuit to avoid this excess switching activity. This allows switching of the BEC only when a previous carry is generated. The modified CSLA is based on the ripple carry adder, while the decider-based CSLA utilizes a carry look-ahead adder. This makes a decider-based CSLA faster while utilizing less area and power consumption when compared to the modified CSLA.


The efficiency of the proposed decider-based CSLA has been verified using Cadence RTL Compiler using TSMC 180-nm CMOS cell library and has been found to have 17 per cent power and 11.57 per cent area optimization when compared to the modified CSLA, while maintaining operating frequency.



Dhandapani, V. (2017), "An efficient architecture for carry select adder", World Journal of Engineering, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 249-254.



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