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Exploration and Generation of Efficient FPGA-based Deep Neural Network Accelerators

Nermine Ali 1 Jean-Marc Philippe 1 Benoit Tain 1 Philippe Coussy 2 
1 LECA - Laboratoire Environnement de Conception & Architecture
Université Paris-Saclay, DSCIN - Département Systèmes et Circuits Intégrés Numériques : DRT/LIST/DSCIN
Abstract : Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have emerged as an answer to next-generation applications such as complex image recognition and object detection. Embedding such compute-intensive and memory-hungry algorithms on edge systems will lead to smarter high-value applications. However, the algorithmic innovations in the CNN field leave the hardware accelerators one step behind. Reconfigurable hardware (e.g. FPGAs) allows designing custom accelerators adapted to new algorithms. Furthermore, new design approaches such as highlevel synthesis (HLS) enable to generate RTL code based on highlevel function descriptions. This paper presents a high-level CNN accelerator generation framework for FPGAs. A first phase of the framework characterizes CNN descriptions using hardwareaware metrics. These metrics then drive a hardware generation phase which builds the proper C source code implementation for each layer of the network. Finally, an HLS tool outputs the synthesizable RTL code of the accelerator. This approach aims at reducing the gap between the evolving applications based on artificial intelligence and hardware accelerators, thus reducing time-to-market of new systems.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, August 24, 2022 - 3:00:29 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, August 28, 2022 - 3:21:26 AM

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Nermine Ali, Jean-Marc Philippe, Benoit Tain, Philippe Coussy. Exploration and Generation of Efficient FPGA-based Deep Neural Network Accelerators. IEEE Workshop on Signal Processing Systems (SiPS), 2021, pp.123-128. ⟨10.1109/SiPS52927.2021.00030⟩. ⟨cea-03759800⟩

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