skip to main content


Title: Deep Neural Network Acceleration in Non-Volatile Memory: A Digital Approach
Latest algorithmic development has brought competitive classification accuracy for neural networks despite constraining the network parameters to ternary or binary representations. These findings show significant optimization opportunities to replace computationally-intensive convolution operations (based on multiplication) with more efficient and less complex operations such as addition. In hardware implementation domain, processing-in-memory architecture is becoming a promising solution to alleviate enormous energy-hungry data communication between memory and processing units, bringing considerable improvement for system performance and energy efficiency while running such large networks. In this paper, we review several of our recent works regarding Processing-in-Memory (PIM) accelerator based on Magnetic Random Access Memory computational sub-arrays to accelerate the inference mode of quantized neural networks using digital non-volatile memory rather than using analog crossbar operation. In this way, we investigate the performance of two distinct in-memory addition schemes compared to other digital methods based on processing-in-DRAM/GPU/ASIC design to tackle DNN power and memory wall bottleneck.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
2005209 1740126
NSF-PAR ID:
10179703
Author(s) / Creator(s):
;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
10.1109/NANOARCH47378.2019.181297
Page Range / eLocation ID:
1 to 6
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Stochastic computing (SC) reduces the complexity of computation by representing numbers with long streams of independent bits. However, increasing performance in SC comes with either an increase in area or a loss in accuracy. Processing in memory (PIM) computes data in-place while having high memory density and supporting bit-parallel operations with low energy consumption. In this article, we propose COSMO, an architecture for co mputing with s tochastic numbers in me mo ry, which enables SC in memory. The proposed architecture is general and can be used for a wide range of applications. It is a highly dense and parallel architecture that supports most SC encodings and operations in memory. It maximizes the performance and energy efficiency of SC by introducing several innovations: (i) in-memory parallel stochastic number generation, (ii) efficient implication-based logic in memory, (iii) novel memory bit line segmenting, (iv) a new memory-compatible SC addition operation, and (v) enabling flexible block allocation. To show the generality and efficiency of our stochastic architecture, we implement image processing, deep neural networks (DNNs), and hyperdimensional (HD) computing on the proposed hardware. Our evaluations show that running DNN inference on COSMO is 141× faster and 80× more energy efficient as compared to GPU. 
    more » « less
  2. Nowadays, research topics on AI accelerator designs have attracted great interest, where accelerating Deep Neural Network (DNN) using Processing-in-Memory (PIM) platforms is an actively-explored direction with great potential. PIM platforms, which simultaneously aims to address power- and memory-wall bottlenecks, have shown orders of performance enhancement in comparison to the conventional computing platforms with Von-Neumann architecture. As one direction of accelerating DNN in PIM, resistive memory array (aka. crossbar) has drawn great research interest owing to its analog current-mode weighted summation operation which intrinsically matches the dominant Multiplication-and-Accumulation (MAC) operation in DNN, making it one of the most promising candidates. An alternative direction for PIM-based DNN acceleration is through bulk bit-wise logic operations directly performed on the content in digital memories. Thanks to the high fault-tolerant characteristic of DNN, the latest algorithmic progression successfully quantized DNN parameters to low bit-width representations, while maintaining competitive accuracy levels. Such DNN quantization techniques essentially convert MAC operation to much simpler addition/subtraction or comparison operations, which can be performed by bulk bit-wise logic operations in a highly parallel fashion. In this paper, we build a comprehensive evaluation framework to quantitatively compare and analyze aforementioned PIM based analog and digital approaches for DNN acceleration. 
    more » « less
  3. null (Ed.)
    PIM (processing-in-memory) based hardware accelerators have shown great potentials in addressing the computation and memory access intensity of modern CNNs (convolutional neural networks). While adopting NVM (non-volatile memory) helps to further mitigate the storage and energy consumption overhead, adopting quantization, e.g., shift-based quantization, helps to tradeoff the computation overhead and the accuracy loss, integrating both NVM and quantization in hardware accelerators leads to sub-optimal acceleration. In this paper, we exploit the natural shift property of DWM (domain wall memory) to devise DWMAcc, a DWM-based accelerator with asymmetrical storage of weight and input data, to speed up the inference phase of shift-based CNNs. DWMAcc supports flexible shift operations to enable fast processing with low performance and area overhead. We then optimize it with zero-sharing , input-reuse , and weight-share schemes. Our experimental results show that, on average, DWMAcc achieves 16.6× performance improvement and 85.6× energy consumption reduction over a state-of-the-art SRAM based design. 
    more » « less
  4. Graph Convolutional Networks (GCNs) have successfully incorporated deep learning to graph structures for social network analysis, bio-informatics, etc. The execution pattern of GCNs is a hybrid of graph processing and neural networks which poses unique and significant challenges for hardware implementation. Graph processing involves a large amount of irregular memory access with little computation whereas processing of neural networks involves a large number of operations with regular memory access. Existing graph processing and neural network accelerators are therefore inefficient for computing GCNs. This paper presents Parag, processing in memory (PIM) architecture for GCN computation. It consists of customized logic with minuscule computing units called Neural Processing Elements (NPEs) interfaced to each bank of the DRAM to support parallel graph processing and neural network computation. It utilizes the massive internal parallelism of DRAM to accelerate the GCN execution with high energy efficiency. Simulation results for inference of GCN over standard datasets show a latency and energy reduction by three orders of magnitude over a CPU implementation. When compared to a state-of-the-art PIM architecture, PARAG achieves on an average 4x reduction in latency and 4.23x reduction in the energy-delay-product (EDP). 
    more » « less
  5. Deconvolution is a key component in contemporary neural networks, especially generative adversarial networks (GANs) and fully convolutional networks (FCNs). Due to extra operations of deconvolution compared to convolution, considerable degradation of performance as well as energy efficiency is incurred when implementing deconvolution on the existing resistive random access memory (ReRAM)-based processing-in-memory (PIM) accelerators. In this work, we propose a ReRAM-based accelerator design, RED, for providing high-performance and low-energy deconvolution. We analyze the deconvolution execution on the existing ReRAM-based PIMs and utilize its interior computation pattern for design optimization. RED includes two major contributions: pixel-wise mapping scheme and zero-skipping data flow. Pixel-wise mapping scheme removes the zero insertion and performs convolutions over several ReRAM arrays and thus enables parallel computations with non-zero inputs. Zero-skipping data flow, assisted with customized input buffers design, enhances the computation parallelism and input data reuse. In evaluation, we compare RED against the existing ReRAM-based PIMs and CMOS-based counterpart with a variety of GAN and FCN models, each of which contains multiple deconvolution layers. The experimental results show that RED achieves a 4.0×-56.16× speedup and a 1.05×-18.17× energy efficiency improvement over previous related accelerator designs. 
    more » « less