skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on March 14, 2023

Title: XST: A Crossbar Column-wise Sparse Training for Efficient Continual Learning
Leveraging the ReRAM crossbar-based In-Memory-Computing (IMC) to accelerate single task DNN inference has been widely studied. However, using the ReRAM crossbar for continual learning has not been explored yet. In this work, we propose XST, a novel crossbar column-wise sparse training framework for continual learning. XST significantly reduces the training cost and saves inference energy. More importantly, it is friendly to existing crossbar-based convolution engine with almost no hardware overhead. Compared with the state-of-the-art CPG method, the experiments show that XST's accuracy achieves 4.95 % higher accuracy. Furthermore, XST demonstrates ~5.59 × training speedup and 1.5 × inference energy-saving.
; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2003749 1931871 2144751
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
2022 Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE)
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
48 to 51
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ReRAM crossbar array as a high-parallel fast and energy-efficient structure attracts much attention, especially on the acceleration of Deep Neural Network (DNN) inference on one specific task. However, due to the high energy consumption of weight re-programming and the ReRAM cells’ low endurance problem, adapting the crossbar array for multiple tasks has not been well explored. In this paper, we propose XMA, a novel crossbar-aware shift-based mask learning method for multiple task adaption in the ReRAM crossbar DNN accelerator for the first time. XMA leverages the popular mask-based learning algorithm’s benefit to mitigate catastrophic forgetting and learn a task-specific, crossbarmore »column-wise, and shift-based multi-level mask, rather than the most commonly used elementwise binary mask, for each new task based on a frozen backbone model. With our crossbar-aware design innovation, the required masking operation to adapt for a new task could be implemented in an existing crossbar-based convolution engine with minimal hardware/memory overhead and, more importantly, no need for power-hungry cell re-programming, unlike prior works. The extensive experimental results show that, compared with state-of-the art multiple task adaption Piggyback method [1], XMA achieves 3.19% higher accuracy on average, while saving 96.6% memory overhead. Moreover, by eliminating cell re-programming, XMA achieves ∼4.3× higher energy efficiency than Piggyback.« less
  2. Recently, utilizing ReRAM crossbar array to accelerate DNN inference on single task has been widely studied. However, using the crossbar array for multiple task adaption has not been well explored. In this paper, for the first time, we propose XBM, a novel crossbar column-wise binary mask learning method for multiple task adaption in ReRAM crossbar DNN accelerator. XBM leverages the mask-based learning algorithm's benefit to avoid catastrophic forgetting to learn a task-specific mask for each new task. With our hardware-aware design innovation, the required masking operation to adapt for a new task could be easily implemented in existing crossbar basedmore »convolution engine with minimal hardware/ memory overhead and, more importantly, no need of power hungry cell re-programming, unlike prior works. The extensive experimental results show that compared with state-of-the-art multiple task adaption methods, XBM keeps the similar accuracy on new tasks while only requires 1.4% mask memory size compared with popular piggyback. Moreover, the elimination of cell re-programming or tuning saves up to 40% energy during new task adaption.« less
  3. In this work, we investigate various non-ideal effects (Stuck-At-Fault (SAF), IR-drop, thermal noise, shot noise, and random telegraph noise)of ReRAM crossbar when employing it as a dot-product engine for deep neural network (DNN) acceleration. In order to examine the impacts of those non-ideal effects, we first develop a comprehensive framework called PytorX based on main-stream DNN pytorch framework. PytorX could perform end-to-end training, mapping, and evaluation for crossbar-based neural network accelerator, considering all above discussed non-ideal effects of ReRAM crossbar together. Experiments based on PytorX show that directly mapping the trained large scale DNN into crossbar without considering these non-idealmore »effects could lead to a complete system malfunction (i.e., equal to random guess) when the neural network goes deeper and wider. In particular, to address SAF side effects, we propose a digital SAF error correction algorithm to compensate for crossbar output errors, which only needs one-time profiling to achieve almost no system accuracy degradation. Then, to overcome IR drop effects, we propose a Noise Injection Adaption (NIA) methodology by incorporating statistics of current shift caused by IR drop in each crossbar as stochastic noise to DNN training algorithm, which could efficiently regularize DNN model to make it intrinsically adaptive to non-ideal ReRAM crossbar. It is a one-time training method without the request of retraining for every specific crossbar. Optimizing system operating frequency could easily take care of rest non-ideal effects. Various experiments on different DNNs using image recognition application are conducted to show the efficacy of our proposed methodology.« less
  4. Many recent works have shown substantial efficiency boosts from performing inference tasks on Internet of Things (IoT) nodes rather than merely transmitting raw sensor data. However, such tasks, e.g., convolutional neural networks (CNNs), are very compute intensive. They are therefore challenging to complete at sensing-matched latencies in ultra-low-power and energy-harvesting IoT nodes. ReRAM crossbar-based accelerators (RCAs) are an ideal candidate to perform the dominant multiplication-and-accumulation (MAC) operations in CNNs efficiently, but conventional, performance-oriented RCAs, while energy-efficient, are power hungry and ill-optimized for the intermittent and unstable power supply of energy-harvesting IoT nodes. This paper presents the ResiRCA architecture that integratesmore »a new, lightweight, and configurable RCA suitable for energy harvesting environments as an opportunistically executing augmentation to a baseline sense-and-transmit battery-powered IoT node. To maximize ResiRCA throughput under different power levels, we develop the ResiSchedule approach for dynamic RCA reconfiguration. The proposed approach uses loop tiling-based computation decomposition, model duplication within the RCA, and inter-layer pipelining to reduce RCA activation thresholds and more closely track execution costs with dynamic power income. Experimental results show that ResiRCA together with ResiSchedule achieve average speedups and energy efficiency improvements of 8× and 14× respectively compared to a baseline RCA with intermittency-unaware scheduling.« less
  5. Biological memory structures impart enormous retention capacity while automatically providing vital functions for chronological information management and update resolution of domain and episodic knowledge. A crucial requirement for hardware realization of such cortical operations found in biology is to first design both Short-Term Memory (STM) and Long-Term Memory (LTM). Herein, these memory features are realized via a beyond-CMOS based learning approach derived from the repeated input information and retrieval of the encoded data. We first propose a new binary STM-LTM architecture with composite synapse of Spin Hall Effect-driven Magnetic Tunnel Junction (SHE-MTJ) and capacitive memory bit-cell to mimic the behaviormore »of biological synapses. This STM-LTM platform realizes the memory potentiation through a continual update process using STM-to-LTM transfer, which is applied to Neural Networks based on the established capacitive crossbar. We then propose a hardware-enabled and customized STM-LTM transition algorithm for the platform considering the real hardware parameters. We validate the functionality of the design using SPICE simulations that show the proposed synapse has the potential of reaching ~30.2pJ energy consumption for STM-to-LTM transfer and 65pJ during STM programming. We further analyze the correlation between energy, array size, and STM-to-LTM threshold utilizing the MNIST dataset.« less