Sparseloop: An Analytical, Energy-Focused Design Space Exploration Methodology for Sparse Tensor Accelerators
This paper presents Sparseloop, the first infrastructure that implements an analytical design space exploration methodology for sparse tensor accelerators. Sparseloop comprehends a wide set of architecture specifications including various sparse optimization features such as compressed tensor storage. Using these specifications, Sparseloop can calculate a design's energy efficiency while accounting for both optimization savings and metadata overhead at each storage and compute level of the architecture using stochastic tensor density models. We validate Sparseloop on a well-known accelerator design and achieve ~99% accuracy in terms of runtime activities (e.g., compressed memory accesses). We also present a case study that highlights the key factors (e.g., uncompressed traffic, data density) that affect sparse optimization features' impact on energy efficiency. Tool available at: https://github.com/NVlabs/timeloop.
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