A Practical DRAM-Based Multi-Level PIM Architecture For Data Analytics


A technical paper titled “Darwin: A DRAM-based Multi-level Processing-in-Memory Architecture for Data Analytics” was published by researchers at Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) and SK hynix Inc.


“Processing-in-memory (PIM) architecture is an inherent match for data analytics application, but we observe major challenges to address when accelerating it using PIM. In this paper, we propose Darwin, a practical LRDIMM-based multi-level PIM architecture for data analytics, which fully exploits the internal bandwidth of DRAM using the bank-, bank group-, chip-, and rank-level parallelisms. Considering the properties of data analytics operators and DRAM’s area constraints, Darwin maximizes the internal data bandwidth by placing the PIM processing units, buffers, and control circuits across the hierarchy of DRAM. More specifically, it introduces the bank processing unit for each bank in which a single instruction multiple data (SIMD) unit handles regular data analytics operators and bank group processing unit for each bank group to handle workload imbalance in the condition-oriented data analytics operators. Furthermore, Darwin supports a novel PIM instruction architecture that concatenates instructions for multiple thread executions on bank group processing entities, addressing the command bottleneck by enabling separate control of up to 512 different in-memory processing units simultaneously. We build a cycle-accurate simulation framework to evaluate Darwin with various DRAM configurations, optimization schemes and workloads. Darwin achieves up to 14.7x speedup over the non-optimized version. Finally, the proposed Darwin architecture achieves 4.0x-43.9x higher throughput and reduces energy consumption by 85.7% than the baseline CPU system (Intel Xeon Gold 6226 + 4 channels of DDR4-2933). Compared to the state-of-the-art PIM, Darwin achieves up to 7.5x and 7.1x in the basic query operators and TPC-H queries, respectively. Darwin is based on the latest GDDR6 and requires only 5.6% area overhead, suggesting a promising PIM solution for the future main memory system.”

Find the technical paper here. Published: May 2023 (preprint).

Kim, Donghyuk, Jae-Young Kim, Wontak Han, Jongsoon Won, Haerang Choi, Yongkee Kwon, and Joo-Young Kim. “Darwin: A DRAM-based Multi-level Processing-in-Memory Architecture for Data Analytics.” arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.13970 (2023).

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