GANAX: A Unified MIMD-SIMD Acceleration for Generative Adversarial Networks
Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are one of the most recent deep learning models that generate synthetic data from limited genuine datasets. GANs are on the frontier as further extension of deep learning into many domains (e.g., medicine, robotics, content synthesis) requires massive sets of labeled data that is generally either unavailable or prohibitively costly to collect. Although GANs are gaining prominence in various fields, there are no accelerators for these new models. In fact,
... Ns leverage a new operator, called transposed convolution, that exposes unique challenges for hardware acceleration. This operator first inserts zeros within the multidimensional input, then convolves a kernel over this expanded array to add information to the embedded zeros. Even though there is a convolution stage in this operator, the inserted zeros lead to underutilization of the compute resources when a conventional convolution accelerator is employed. We propose the GANAX architecture to alleviate the sources of inefficiency associated with the acceleration of GANs using conventional convolution accelerators, making the first GAN accelerator design possible. We propose a reorganization of the output computations to allocate compute rows with similar patterns of zeros to adjacent processing engines, which also avoids inconsequential multiply-adds on the zeros. This compulsory adjacency reclaims data reuse across these neighboring processing engines, which had otherwise diminished due to the inserted zeros. The reordering breaks the full SIMD execution model, which is prominent in convolution accelerators. Therefore, we propose a unified MIMD-SIMD design for GANAX that leverages repeated patterns in the computation to create distinct microprograms that execute concurrently in SIMD mode.