A System for Generating Non-Uniform Random Variates using Graphene Field-Effect Transistors

Nathaniel Joseph Tye, James Timothy Meech, Bilgesu Arif Bilgin, Phillip Stanley-Marbell

We introduce a new method for hardware non-uniform random number generation based on the transfer characteristics of graphene field-effect transistors (GFETs) which requires as few as two transistors and a resistor (or transimpedance amplifier). The method could be integrated into a custom computing system to provide samples from arbitrary univariate distributions. We also demonstrate the use of wavelet decomposition of the target distribution to determine GFET bias voltages in a multi-GFET array. We implement the method by fabricating multiple GFETs and experimentally validating that their transfer characteristics exhibit the nonlinearity on which our method depends. We use the characterization data in simulations of a proposed architecture for generating samples from dynamically-selectable non-uniform probability distributions. Using a combination of experimental measurements of GFETs under a range of biasing conditions and simulation of the GFET-based non-uniform random variate generator architecture, we demonstrate a speedup of Monte Carlo integration by a factor of up to 2$\times$. This speedup assumes the analog-to-digital converters reading the outputs from the circuit can produce samples in the same amount of time that it takes to perform memory accesses.

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