A Scalable Multi-TeraOPS Core for AI Training and Inference

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This letter presents a multi-TOPS AI accelerator core for deep learning training and inference. With a programmable architecture and custom ISA, this engine achieves >90% sustained utilization across the range of neural network topologies by employing a dataflow architecture to provide high throughput and an on-chip scratchpad hierarchy to meet the bandwidth demands of the compute units. A custom 16b floating point (fp16) representation with 1 sign bit, 6 exponent bits, and 9 mantissa bits has also been developed for high model accuracy in training and inference as well as 1b/2b (binary/ternary) integer for aggressive inference performance. At 1.5 GHz, the AI core prototype achieves 1.5 TFLOPS fp16, 12 TOPS ternary, or 24 TOPS binary peak performance in 14-nm CMOS.