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# FloatPIM: in-memory acceleration of deep neural network training with high precision

Proceedings of the 46th International Symposium on Computer Architecture, pp.802-815, (2019)

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Abstract

Processing In-Memory (PIM) has shown a great potential to accelerate inference tasks of Convolutional Neural Network (CNN). However, existing PIM architectures do not support high precision computation, e.g., in floating point precision, which is essential for training accurate CNN models. In addition, most of the existing PIM approaches ...More

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Introduction

- Artificial neural networks, in particular deep learning [3, 4], have wide range of applications in diverse areas including: object detection [5], self driving car, and translation [6].
- The on-chip caches do not have enough capacity to store all data for large size CNNs with hundreds of layers and millions of weights
- This creates a large amount of data movement between the processing cores and memory units which significantly slows down the computation.
- The result of accumulation passes through an activation function (д)
- This function is traditionally a Sigmoid [29], but recently Rectangular Linear Unit (ReLU) is the most commonly used [3].
- The activation results are used as the input for the neurons in the layer

Highlights

- Artificial neural networks, in particular deep learning [3, 4], have wide range of applications in diverse areas including: object detection [5], self driving car, and translation [6]
- FloatPIM works with any bipolar resistive technology which is the most commonly used in existing Non-Volatile Memory (NVM)
- Our evaluation shows that FloatPIM-HP can provide 8.2× higher energy-delay product (EDP) improvement while requiring 3.9× larger memory as compared to FloatPIM-LP
- Our evaluation shows that FloatPIM in high performance and low power modes can achieve 818.4 GF LOPS/s/W and 695.1 GF LOPS/s/W power efficiency which are higher than both ISAAC (380.7 GOPS/s/W ) and PipeLayer (142.9 GOPS/s/W ) design
- FloatPIM is a flexible Processing In-Memory (PIM)-based accelerator that works with floating-point as well as fixed-point precision
- All existing PIM architectures can support Convolutional neural networks (CNN) acceleration just using fixed-point values, which results in up to 5.1% lower classification accuracy than floating point precision supported by FloatPIM
- Our evaluation shows that FloatPIM can achieve on average 4.3× and 15.8× (6.3× and 21.6×) higher speedup and energy efficiency as compared to PipeLayer (ISAAC), the state-of-the-art PIM accelerator, during training

Results

- 7.1 Experimental Setup

The authors have designed and used a cycle-accurate simulator based on Tensorflow [45, 46] which emulates the memory functionality during the DNN training and testing phases. - The authors use HSPICE for circuit-level simulations to measure the energy consumption and performance of all the FloatPIM floating-point/fixedpoint operations in 28nm technology.
- FloatPIM works with any bipolar resistive technology which is the most commonly used in existing NVMs. Here, the authors adopt memristor device with a VTEAM model [36].
- The model parameters of the memristor, as listed in Table 1, are chosen to produce switching delay of 1ns, a voltage pulse of 1V and 2V for RESET and SET operations in order to fit practical devices [30].

Conclusion

- The authors proposed FloatPIM, the first PIM-based DNN training architecture that exploits analog properties of the memory without explicitly converting data into the analog domain.
- FloatPIM is a flexible PIM-based accelerator that works with floating-point as well as fixed-point precision.
- The authors' evaluation shows that FloatPIM can achieve on average 4.3× and 15.8× (6.3× and 21.6×) higher speedup and energy efficiency as compared to PipeLayer (ISAAC), the state-of-the-art PIM accelerator, during training

- Table1: VTEAM Model Parameters for Memristor kon koff αon, αoff
- Table2: FloatPIM Parameters
- Table3: Workloads
- Table4: Error rate comparison and PIM supports

Related work

- There are several recent studies adopting alternative low-precision arithmetics for DNN training [51]. work in [52, 53] proposed DNN training on hardware with hybrid dynamic fixed-point and floating point precision. However, in terms of convolutions neural network, the work in [14, 54] showed that fixed-point is not the most suitable representation for CNN training. Instead, the training can perform with lower bits of floating point values.

Modern neural network algorithms are executed on different types of platforms such as GPU, FPGAs, and ASIC chips [55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63].

Prior work attempted to fully utilize existing cores to accelerate neural networks. However, in their design the main computation still relies on CMOS-based cores, thus has limited parallelism. To address data movement issue, work in [64] proposed a neural cache architecture which re-purposes caches for parallel in-memory computing. Work in [65] modified DRAM architecture to accelerate DNN inference by supporting matrix multiplication in memory. In contrast, FloatPIM performs a row-parallel and non-destructive bitwise operation inside non-volatile memory block without using any sense amplifier. FloatPIM also accelerates DNN in both training and testing modes.

Funding

- This work was partially supported by CRISP, one of six centers in JUMP, an SRC program sponsored by DARPA, and also NSF grants #1730158 and #1527034

Reference

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