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ImaGen: A General Framework for Generating Memory- and Power-Efficient Image Processing Accelerators
Nisarg Ujjainkar, Jingwen Leng, Yuhao Zhu
In Proceedings of International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), 2023


Image processing algorithms are prime targets for hardware acceleration as they are commonly used in resource- and power-limited applications. Today's image processing accelerator designs make rigid assumptions about the algorithm structures and/or on-chip memory resources. As a result, they either have narrow applicability or result in inefficient designs.

This paper presents a compiler framework that automatically generates memory- and power-efficient image processing accelerators. We allow programmers to describe generic image processing algorithms (in a domain specific language) and specify on-chip memory structures available. Our framework then formulates a constrained optimization problem that minimizes on-chip memory usage while maintaining theoretical maximum throughput. The key challenge we address is to analytically express the throughput bottleneck, on-chip memory contention, to enable a lightweight compilation. FPGA prototyping and ASIC synthesis show that, compared to existing approaches, accelerators generated by our framework reduce the on-chip memory usage and/or power consumption by double digits.