Computation-in-memory (CIM) shows great promise for specific applications by employing emerging (non-volatile) memory technologies such as memristors for both storage and compute, greatly reducing energy consumption, and improving performance. Based on our own observations, we can clearly perceive the contours of a generic approach encompassing the use of a memristor array – using technologies such as PCM and ReRAM. In this paper, we present a new instruction-set architecture (ISA) to control a single CIM-tile that comprises the analog memory array itself and all necessary analog and digital periphery. The newly introduced ISA provides the following advantages: (1) flexibility in programming new CIM functionalities by simply rescheduling the instructions from the ISA, (2) definition of a simulation framework, (3) a hardware implementation of the digital periphery, and (4) a design-space exploration of specific CIM-tile operations targeting the aforementioned technologies. For (1), we defined our own compiler that can translate CIM-tile operations to a sequence of instructions from our ISA. The implementation of the digital periphery is synthesized with the 15 nm Nangate library and results regarding power/energy and area are presented. Finally, the design-space exploration is made possible by using the technology-specific parameters with values that have been verified by accurate technology models. All codes of the compiler and simulator as well as the HDL code of the digital periphery are publicly available.
|Proceedings of IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI, ISVLSI
|2021 IEEE Computer Society Annual Symposium on VLSI (ISVLSI)
|Virtual at Tampa
|7/07/21 → 9/07/21
- computation in memory
- instruction set