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Circuit Design and Silicon Prototypes for Compute-in-Memory for Deep Learning Inference Engine

Shimeng Yu


Compute-in-memory (CIM) is a new computing paradigm that addresses the memory-wall problem in the deep learning hardware accelerator. SRAM and resistive random access memory (RRAM) are identified as two promising embedded memories to store the weights of the deep neural network (DNN) models. In this lecture, first we will review the recent progresses of SRAM and RRAM-CIM macros that are integrated with peripheral analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The bit cell variants (e.g. 6T SRAM, 8T SRAM, 1T1R) and array architectures that allow parallel weighted sum are discussed. State-of-the-art silicon prototypes are surveyed with normalized metrics such as energy efficiency (TOPS/W) and compute efficiency (TOPS/mm2). Second, we will discuss the array-level characterizations of non-ideal device characteristics of RRAM, e.g. the variability and reliability of multilevel states, which may negatively affect the inference accuracy. Third, we will discuss the general challenges in CIM chip design with regards to the imperfect device properties, ADC overhead, and chip to chip variations. Finally, we will discuss future research directions including monolithic 3D integration of memory tier on top of the peripheral logic tier to fully unleash the potentials of the CIM with RRAM technologies.


Shimeng Yu is currently an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. He received the B.S. degree in microelectronics from Peking University in 2009, and the M.S. degree and Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2011 and 2013, respectively. From 2013 to 2018, he was an assistant professor at Arizona State University.

Prof. Yu’s research expertise is on the emerging non-volatile memories for applications such as deep learning accelerator, in-memory computing, 3D integration, and hardware security.

Among Prof. Yu’s honors, he was a recipient of NSF Faculty Early CAREER Award in 2016, IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Early Career Award in 2017, ACM Special Interests Group on Design Automation (SIGDA) Outstanding New Faculty Award in 2018, Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Young Faculty Award in 2019, ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC) Under-40 Innovators Award in 2020, and IEEE Circuits and Systems Society (CASS) Distinguished Lecturer for 2021-2022, etc.

Prof. Yu served or is serving many premier conferences as technical program committee, including IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), IEEE Symposium on VLSI Technology, IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), ACM/IEEE Design, Automation & Test in Europe (DATE), ACM/IEEE International Conference on Computer-Aided-Design (ICCAD), etc.  He is a senior member of the IEEE.

Shimeng Yu Headshot
Shimeng Yu
Georgia Institute of Technology
Virtual Zoom Lecture
18 Jan 2022, 10:30am until 11:30am