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  1. Due to the separate memory and computation units in traditional Von-Neumann architecture, massive data transfer dominates the overall computing system’s power and latency, known as the ‘Memory-Wall’ issue. Especially with ever-increasing deep learning-based AI model size and computing complexity, it becomes the bottleneck for state-of-the-art AI computing systems. To address this challenge, In-Memory Computing (IMC) based Neural Network accelerators have been widely investigated to support AI computing within memory. However, most of those works focus only on inference. The on-device training and continual learning have not been well explored yet. In this work, for the first time, we introduce on-device continual learning with STT-assisted-SOT (SAS) Magnetic Random Access Memory (MRAM) based IMC system. On the hardware side, we have fabricated a SAS-MRAM device prototype with 4 Magnetic Tunnel Junctions (MTJ, each at 100nm × 50nm) sharing a common heavy metal layer, achieving significantly improved memory writing and area efficiency compared to traditional SOT-MRAM. Next, we designed fully digital IMC circuits with our SAS-MRAM to support both neural network inference and on-device learning. To enable efficient on-device continual learning for new task data, we present an 8-bit integer (INT8) based continual learning algorithm that utilizes our SAS-MRAM IMC-supported bit-serial digital in-memory convolution operations to train a small parallel reprogramming Network (Rep-Net) while freezing the major backbone model. Extensive studies have been presented based on our fabricated SAS-MRAM device prototype, cross-layer device-circuit benchmarking and simulation, as well as the on-device continual learning system evaluation. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 28, 2025
  2. In this work, we present an efficient Processing in MRAM-Accelerated De Bruijn Graph-based DNA Assembly platform, named PANDA, based on an optimized and hardware-friendly genome assembly algorithm. PANDA is able to assemble large-scale DNA sequence datasets from all-pair overlaps. We first design a PANDA platform that exploits MRAM as computational memory and converts it to a potent processing unit for genome assembly. PANDA can not only execute efficient bulk bit-wise X(N)OR-based comparison/addition operations heavily required for the genome assembly task but also a full set of 2-/3-input logic operations inside the MRAM chip. We then develop a highly parallel and step-by-step hardware-friendly DNA assembly algorithm for PANDA that only requires the developed in-memory logic operations. The platform is then configured with a novel data partitioning and mapping technique that provides local storage and processing to utilize the algorithm level’s parallelism fully. The cross-layer simulation results demonstrate that PANDA reduces the run time and power by a factor of 18 and 11, respectively, compared with CPU. Moreover, speed-ups of up to 2.5 to 10× can be obtained over other recent processing in-memory platforms to perform the same task, like STT-MRAM, ReRAM, and DRAM. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 2, 2025
  3. 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
  4. 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