Plagwitz P, Hannig F, Teich J, Keszöcze O (2023)
Publication Language: English
Publication Type: Other publication type
Publication year: 2023
Open Access Link: https://arxiv.org/abs/2306.12742
Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) are widely employed to solve various problems, e.g., image classification. Due to their compute- and data-intensive nature, CNN accelerators have been developed as ASICs or on FPGAs. Increasing complexity of applications has caused resource costs and energy requirements of these accelerators to grow. Spiking Neural Networks (SNNs) are an emerging alternative to CNN implementations, promising higher resource and energy efficiency. The main research question addressed in this paper is whether SNN accelerators truly meet these expectations of reduced energy requirements compared to their CNN equivalents. For this purpose, we analyze multiple SNN hardware accelerators for FPGAs regarding performance and energy efficiency. We present a novel encoding scheme of spike event queues and a novel memory organization technique to improve SNN energy efficiency further. Both techniques have been integrated into a state-of-the-art SNN architecture and evaluated for MNIST, SVHN, and CIFAR-10 datasets and corresponding network architectures on two differently sized modern FPGA platforms. For small-scale benchmarks such as MNIST, SNN designs provide rather no or little latency and energy efficiency advantages over corresponding CNN implementations. For more complex benchmarks such as SVHN and CIFAR-10, the trend reverses
Plagwitz, P., Hannig, F., Teich, J., & Keszöcze, O. (2023). To Spike or Not to Spike? A Quantitative Comparison of SNN and CNN FPGA Implementations.
Plagwitz, Patrick, et al. To Spike or Not to Spike? A Quantitative Comparison of SNN and CNN FPGA Implementations. 2023.