A Full Featured Configurable Accelerator for Object Detection with YOLO

Daniel Pestana, Pedro R. Miranda, Joao D. Lopes, Rui P. Duarte, Mario Vestias, Horacio C. Neto, Jose T. De Sousa
2021 IEEE Access  
Object detection and classification is an essential task of computer vision. A very efficient algorithm for detection and classification is YOLO (You Look Only Once). We consider hardware architectures to run YOLO in real-time on embedded platforms. Designing a new dedicated accelerator for each new version of YOLO is not feasible given the fast delivery of new versions. This work's primary goal is to design a configurable and scalable core for creating specific object detection and
more » ... on systems based on YOLO, targeting embedded platforms. The core accelerates the execution of all the algorithm steps, including pre-processing, model inference and post-processing. It considers a fixed-point format, linearised activation functions, batch-normalisation, folding, and a hardware structure that exploits most of the available parallelism in CNN processing. The proposed core is configured for real-time execution of YOLOv3-Tiny and YOLOv4-Tiny, integrated into a RISC-V-based system-on-chip architecture and prototyped in an UltraScale XCKU040 FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array). The solution achieves a performance of 32 and 31 frames per second for YOLOv3-Tiny and YOLOv4-Tiny, respectively, with a 16-bit fixed-point format. Compared to previous proposals, it improves the frame rate at a higher performance efficiency. The performance, area efficiency and configurability of the proposed core enable the fast development of real-time YOLO-based object detectors on embedded systems.
doi:10.1109/access.2021.3081818 fatcat:n4rj7fvxlremtlxcng5wl5i43e