A New Design for Shifters in Computer Processors

Web Published:

Princeton Docket #07-2385-1


Researchers at Princeton University have developed a new design for shifters that utilizes Inverse Butterfly or Butterfly Routing Circuits. Princeton is currently seeking industrial collaborators to commercialize this technology.


The design excels in its ability to perform permutations, so it can efficiently perform both existing shift operations (shift, rotate, extract, deposit and mix) that are currently supported by processors, as well as new advanced bit manipulation operations (bit gather or parallel extract, bit scatter or parallel deposit, and bit permutation) that are useful in applications such as cryptology, cryptanalysis, steganography, biometrics and pattern matching.


Since the mix function on current shifters is often performed on a separate multimedia functional unit, while shift, rotate, extract and deposit are performed on a shifter unit, this new design can replace two functional units with a single, more powerful one, reducing area on a chip. This new design has been tested via computer simulation. It has exhibited latency comparable to that of a classic barrel shifter, and almost equal to that of current log shifters.


It is anticipated that this new hardware design can be utilized by microprocessor, embedded processor, ASIP and ASIC implementers.


Faculty Inventor


Ruby B. Lee is the Forrest G. Hamrick Professor in Engineering and Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University, with an affiliated appointment in the Computer Science Department. She is the director of the Princeton Architecture Laboratory for Multimedia and Security (PALMS). Professor Lee is an expert in hardware-enhanced security and has designed architectures for secure processors, secure caches that do not leak information through side-channel attacks, and secure servers for cloud computing. Her research is in the intersection of computer architecture and cyber security. She is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). She holds over 120 U.S. and international patents.


Intellectual Property Status


Patent granted:


US 8,285,766


US 9,134,953



Princeton is seeking to identify appropriate partners for the further development and commercialization of this technology.




Michael Tyerech
Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

(609) 258-6762• tyerech@princeton.edu 


Laurie Bagley
Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing

(609) 258-5579• lbagley@princeton.edu

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Chris Wright
Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Ruby Lee
Yedidya Hilewitz
baseband processor