Google Research

TC-CIM: Empowering Tensor Comprehensions for Computing-In-Memory

IMPACT 2020 workshop (associated with HIPEAC 2020)


Memristor-based, non-von-Neumann architectures performing tensor operations directly in memory are a promising approach to address the ever-increasing demand for energy-efficient, high-throughput hardware accelerators for Machine Learning (ML) inference. A major challenge for the programmability and exploitation of such Computing-In-Memory (CIM) architectures consists in the efficient mapping of tensor operations from high-level ML frameworks to fixed-function hardware blocks implementing in-memory computations.

We demonstrate the programmability of memristor-based accelerators with TC-CIM, a fully-automatic, end-to-end compilation flow from Tensor Comprehensions, a mathematical notation for tensor operations, to fixed-function memristor-based hardware blocks. Operations suitable for acceleration are identified using Tactics, a declarative framework to describe computational patterns in a polyhedral representation. We evaluate our compilation flow on a system-level simulator based on Gem5, incorporating crossbar arrays of memristive devices. Our results show that TC-CIM reliably recognizes tensor operations commonly used in ML workloads across multiple benchmarks in order to offload these operations to the accelerator.

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