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Enabling Efficient and Flexible FPGA Virtualization for Deep Learning in the Cloud

A framework to enable node-level FPGA virtualization with performance isolation, scalability, and flexibility for deep learning acceleration applications.

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SOURCE: Shulin Zeng, Guohao Dai, Hanbo Sun, Kai Zhong, Guangjun Ge, Kaiyuan Guo, Yu Wang, Huazhong Yang(Tsinghua University, Beijing, China).  Published on arXiv:2003.12101 [cs.DC])

 

ABSTRACT:
“FPGAs have shown great potential in providing low-latency and energy-efficient solutions for deep neural network (DNN) inference applications. Currently, the majority of FPGA-based DNN accelerators in the cloud run in a time-division multiplexing way for multiple users sharing a single FPGA, and require re-compilation with 100 s overhead. Such designs lead to poor isolation and heavy performance loss for multiple users, which are far away from providing efficient and flexible FPGA virtualization for neither public nor private cloud scenarios.
To solve these problems, we introduce a novel virtualization framework for instruction architecture set (ISA) based on DNN accelerators by sharing a single FPGA. We enable the isolation by introducing a two-level instruction dispatch module and a multi-core based hardware resources pool. Such designs provide isolated and runtime-programmable hardware resources, further leading to performance isolation for multiple users. On the other hand, to overcome the heavy re-compilation overheads, we propose a tiling-based instruction frame package design and two-stage static-dynamic compilation. Only the light-weight runtime information is re-compiled with 1 ms overhead, thus the performance is guaranteed for the private cloud. Our extensive experimental results show that the proposed virtualization design achieves 1.07-1.69x and 1.88-3.12x throughput improvement over previous static designs using the single-core and the multi-core architectures, respectively.”

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