University of Illinois at Chicago

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Efficient, Mixed Precision In-Memory Deep learning at the Edge

posted on 2022-12-01, 00:00 authored by Shamma Nasrin
Deep neural networks (DNNs) have shown remarkable prediction accuracy in many practical applications. DNNs in these applications typically utilize thousands to millions of parameters (i.e., weights) and are trained over a huge number of example patterns. Operating over such a large parametric space, which is carefully orchestrated over multiple abstraction levels (i.e., hidden layers), facilitates DNNs with a superior generalization and learning capacity but also presents critical inference constraints, especially when considering real-time and/or low-power applications. This thesis proposes approaches for low-energy implementation for DNN accelerators for edge applications. We propose a co-design approach for compute-in-memory inference for deep neural networks (DNN). We use multiplication-free function approximators based on the l`1 norm along with a co-adapted processing array and compute flow. Using the approach, we overcame many deficiencies in the current art of in-SRAM DNN processing, such as the need for digital-to-analog converters (DACs) at each operating SRAM row/column, the need for high precision analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), limited support for multi-bit precision weights, and limited vector-scale parallelism. Our co-adapted implementation seamlessly extends to multi-bit precision weights, doesn’t require DACs, and easily extends to higher vector-scale parallelism. We also propose an SRAM-immersed successive approximation ADC (SA-ADC), where we exploit the parasitic capacitance of bit lines of the SRAM array as a capacitive DAC. Since the dominant area overhead in SA-ADC comes due to its capacitive DAC, by exploiting the intrinsic parasitic of SRAM array, our approach allows low area implementation of within-SRAM SA-ADC. The thesis also explores automation algorithms for searching energy-optimized neural architecture.



Trivedi, Amit


Trivedi, Amit


Electrical and Computer Engineering

Degree Grantor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Degree Level

  • Doctoral

Degree name

PhD, Doctor of Philosophy

Committee Member

Devroye, Natasha Rao, Wenjing Ravi, Sathya Khondker, Zakir Karim, Muhammed Ahosan

Submitted date

December 2022

Thesis type



  • en

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