Google Research

An Evaluation of Edge TPU Accelerators forConvolutional Neural Networks

ArXiv, https://arxiv.org/abs/2102.10423 (2021)

Abstract

Edge TPUs are a domain of accelerators for low-power,edge devices and are widely used in various Google productssuch as Coral devices and Pixel 4. In this paper, we first discussthe major microarchitectural details of Edge TPUs. Then, weextensively evaluate three classes of Edge TPUs, covering bothdata-center and mobile-SoC ecosystems, that are used or inthe pipeline to be used in Google products across 423K uniqueconvolutional neural networks. Building upon this extensive study,we discuss critical and interpretable microarchitectural insightsabout the studied classes of Edge TPUs. Finally, we present ourundergoing efforts in developing high-accuracy learned machinelearning models to estimate the major performance metrics ofEdge TPU accelerators. These learned models enable significantlyfaster (in the order of milliseconds) evaluations of acceleratorsas alternative to time-consuming cycle-accurate simulators andestablish an exciting opportunity for rapid hardware/softwareco-design.

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