NeuMMU: Architectural Support for Efficient Address Translations in Neural Processing Units

Session: Memory management--I forgot.

Authors: Bongjoon Hyun (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology); Youngeun Kwon (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology); Yujeong Choi (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology); John Kim (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology); Minsoo Rhu (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology)

To satisfy the compute and memory demands of deep neural networks (DNNs), neural processing units (NPUs) are widely being utilized for accelerating DNNs. Similar to how GPUs have evolved from a slave device into a mainstream processor architecture, it is likely that NPUs will become first-class citizens in this fast-evolving heterogeneous architecture space. This paper makes a case for enabling address translation in NPUs to decouple the virtual and physical memory address space. Through a careful data-driven application characterization study, we root-cause several limitations of prior GPU-centric address translation schemes and propose a memory management unit (MMU) that is tailored for NPUs. Compared to an oracular MMU design point, our proposal incurs only an average 0.06% performance overhead.