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24 June 2024
 
  » arxiv » 2302.00201

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Bit-balance: Model-Hardware Co-design for Accelerating NNs by Exploiting Bit-level Sparsity
Wenhao Sun ; Zhiwei Zou ; Deng Liu ; Wendi Sun ; Song Chen ; Yi Kang ;
Date 1 Feb 2023
AbstractBit-serial architectures can handle Neural Networks (NNs) with different weight precisions, achieving higher resource efficiency compared with bit-parallel architectures. Besides, the weights contain abundant zero bits owing to the fault tolerance of NNs, indicating that bit sparsity of NNs can be further exploited for performance improvement. However, the irregular proportion of zero bits in each weight causes imbalanced workloads in the Processing Element (PE) array, which degrades performance or induces overhead for sparse processing. Thus, this paper proposed a bit-sparsity quantization method to maintain the bit sparsity ratio of each weight to no more than a certain value for balancing workloads, with little accuracy loss. Then, we co-designed a sparse bit-serial architecture, called Bit-balance, to improve overall performance, supporting weight-bit sparsity and adaptive bitwidth computation. The whole design was implemented with 65nm technology at 1 GHz and performs at 326-, 30-, 56-, and 218-frame/s for AlexNet, VGG-16, ResNet-50, and GoogleNet respectively. Compared with sparse bit-serial accelerator, Bitlet, Bit-balance achieves 1.8x~2.7x energy efficiency (frame/J) and 2.1x~3.7x resource efficiency (frame/mm2).
Source arXiv, 2302.00201
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