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  1. We present a fully digital multiply and accumulate (MAC) in-memory computing (IMC) macro demonstrating one of the fastest flexible precision integer-based MACs to date. The design boasts a new bit-parallel architecture enabled by a 10T bit-cell capable of four AND operations and a decomposed precision data flow that decreases the number of shift–accumulate operations, bringing down the overall adder hardware cost by 1.57× while maintaining 100% utilization for all supported precision. It also employs a carry save adder tree that saves 21% of adder hardware. The 28-nm prototype chip achieves a speed-up of 2.6× , 10.8× , 2.42× , and 3.22× over prior SoTA in 1bW:1bI, 1bW:4bI, 4bW:4bI, and 8bW:8bI MACs, respectively. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  2. Contrastive learning (CL) has been widely investigated with various learning mech- anisms and achieves strong capability in learning representations of data in a self-supervised manner using unlabeled data. A common fashion of contrastive learning on this line is employing large-sized encoders to achieve comparable performance as the supervised learning counterpart. Despite the success of the labelless training, current contrastive learning algorithms failed to achieve good performance with lightweight (compact) models, e.g., MobileNet, while the re- quirements of the heavy encoders impede the energy-efficient computation, espe- cially for resource-constrained AI applications. Motivated by this, we propose a new self-supervised CL scheme, named SACL-XD, consisting of two technical components, Slimmed Asymmetrical Contrastive Learning (SACL) and Cross- Distillation (XD), which collectively enable efficient CL with compact models. While relevant prior works employed a strong pre-trained model as the teacher of unsupervised knowledge distillation to a lightweight encoder, our proposed method trains CL models from scratch and outperforms them even without such an expensive requirement. Compared to the SoTA lightweight CL training (dis- tillation) algorithms, SACL-XD achieves 1.79% ImageNet-1K accuracy improve- ment on MobileNet-V3 with 64⇥ training FLOPs reduction. Code is available at https://github.com/mengjian0502/SACL-XD. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 10, 2024
  3. In genomic analysis, the major computation bottle- neck is the memory- and compute-intensive DNA short reads alignment due to memory-wall challenge. This work presents the first Resistive RAM (RRAM) based Compute-in-Memory (CIM) macro design for accelerating state-of-the-art BWT based genome sequencing alignment. Our design could support all the core instructions, i.e., XNOR based match, count, and addition, required by alignment algorithm. The proposed CIM macro implemented in integration of HfO2 RRAM and 65nm CMOS demonstrates the best energy efficiency to date with 2.07 TOPS/W and 2.12G suffixes/J at 1.0V. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  4. Abstract This work reports on the hardware implementation of analog dot-product operation on arrays of 2D hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) memristors. This extends beyond previous work that studied isolated device characteristics towards the application of analog neural network accelerators based on 2D memristor arrays. The wafer-level fabrication of the memristor arrays is enabled by large-area transfer of CVD-grown few-layer (8 layers) h-BN films. Individual devices achieve an on/off ratio of >10, low voltage operation (~0.5 Vset/Vreset), good endurance (>6,000 programming steps), and good retention (>104 s). The dot-product operation shows excellent linearity and repeatability, with low read energy consumption (~200 aJ to 20 fJ per operation), with minimal error and deviation over various measurement cycles. Moreover, we present the implementation of a stochastic logistic regression algorithm in 2D h-BN memristor hardware for the classification of noisy images. The promising resistive switching characteristics, performance of dot-product computation, and successful demonstration of logistic regression in h-BN memristors signify an important step towards the integration of 2D materials for next-generation neuromorphic computing systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  5. Recently, a new trend of exploring training sparsity has emerged, which remove parameters during training, leading to both training and inference efficiency improvement. This line of works primarily aims to obtain a single sparse model under a pre-defined large sparsity ratio. It leads to a static/fixed sparse inference model that is not capable of adjusting or re-configuring its computation complexity (i.e., inference structure, latency) after training for real-world varying and dynamic hardware resource availability. To enable such run-time or post-training network morphing, the concept of `dynamic inference' or `training-once-for-all' has been proposed to train a single network consisting of multiple sub-nets once, but each sub-net could perform the same inference function with different computing complexity. However, the traditional dynamic inference training method requires a joint training scheme with multi-objective optimization, which suffers from very large training overhead. In this work, for the first time, we propose a novel alternating sparse training (AST) scheme to train multiple sparse sub-nets for dynamic inference without extra training cost compared to the case of training a single sparse model from scratch. Furthermore, to mitigate the interference of weight update among sub-nets, we propose gradient correction within the inner-group iterations to reduce their weight update interference. We validate the proposed AST on multiple datasets against state-of-the-art sparse training method, which shows that AST achieves similar or better accuracy, but only needs to train once to get multiple sparse sub-nets with different sparsity ratios. More importantly, compared with the traditional joint training based dynamic inference training methodology, the large training overhead is completely eliminated without affecting the accuracy of each sub-net. 
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  6. Recently, ReRAM crossbar-based deep neural network (DNN) accelerator has been widely investigated. However, most prior works focus on single-task inference due to the high energy consumption of weight reprogramming and ReRAM cells’ low endurance issue. Adapting the ReRAM crossbar-based DNN accelerator for multiple tasks has not been fully explored. In this study, we propose XMA 2 , a novel crossbar-aware learning method with a 2-tier masking technique to efficiently adapt a DNN backbone model deployed in the ReRAM crossbar for new task learning. During the XMA 2 -based multi-task adaption (MTA), the tier-1 ReRAM crossbar-based processing-element- (PE-) wise mask is first learned to identify the most critical PEs to be reprogrammed for essential new features of the new task. Subsequently, the tier-2 crossbar column-wise mask is applied within the rest of the weight-frozen PEs to learn a hardware-friendly and column-wise scaling factor for new task learning without modifying the weight values. With such crossbar-aware design innovations, we could implement the required masking operation in an existing crossbar-based convolution engine with minimal hardware/memory overhead to adapt to a new task. The extensive experimental results show that compared with other state-of-the-art multiple-task adaption methods, XMA 2 achieves the highest accuracy on all popular multi-task learning datasets. 
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  7. We present a generic and programmable Processing-in-SRAM (PSRAM) accelerator chip design based on an 8T-SRAM array to accommodate a complete set of Boolean logic operations (e.g., NOR/NAND/XOR, both 2- and 3-input), majority, and full adder, for the first time, all in a single cycle. PSRAM provides the programmability required for in-memory computing platforms that could be used for various applications such as parallel vector operation, neural networks, and data encryption. The prototype design is implemented in a SRAM macro with size of 16 kb, demonstrating one of the fastest programmable in-memory computing system to date operating at 1.23 GHz. The 65nm prototype chip achieves system-level peak throughput of 1.2 TOPS, and energy-efficiency of 34.98 TOPS/W at 1.2V. 
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  8. 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, crossbar 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. 
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