SCALE-Sim Tutorial - ISCA 2021

Date: June 19, 2021



In this tutorial we will demo SCALE-Sim and show how users can quickly and easily get started with using the simulator, updating, and extending it. We will also demonstrate using SCALE-Sim as an API and demonstrate Krittika.

SCALE-SIM is a cycle-accurate CNN accelerator simulator that provides timing, power/energy, memory bandwidth and memory access trace results for a specified accelerator configuration and neural network architecture. It is based on the systolic array architecture, used in various accelerators like Google’s TPU, Xilinx XDNN etc. Krittika is a simulator for distributed processing of GEMM workloads developed using SCALE-Sim as an API. Krittika models a collection of systolic arrays working in a distributed setting with configurable grid dimensions and memory sizes.

Both the simulators enable research into DNN accelerator architectures and are also suitable for system-level studies. Designing efficient DNN accelerator is a difficult problem which requires searching in an intricate trade-off space with large number of architectural parameters. Moreover, recent DNN workloads are increasingly becoming memory bound due to increase in model sizes. A simulation infrastructure like SCALE-Sim or Krittika which can provide cycle accurate estimates of performance, memory accesses, and other design metrics is therefore a vital tool to enable fast and reliable design cycles. Unlike related infrastructure, which rely on analytical models to estimate the performance and operating cost of accelerator designs, these tools let designers to capture the behavior of a simulator at each cycle of operation. Both the tools read workload configurations as layer hyperparameters, and architectural configurations as inputs, and then generates cycle accurate multilevel memory traces and lumped performance metrics as outputs

Schedule (June 19, 2021; Eastern Time)

Remark: Please login using your ISCA credentials and then navigate to the zoom room for the tutorial.

Time Agenda Presenter Resources
9:10-9:30 Introduction to DNNs and Accelerator Design Tushar, Paul Slides (Available after the tutorial)
9:30-9:55 Overview of SCALE-Sim Anand Slides (Available after the tutorial)
10:00-10:30 Tutorial 1: Design Space Exploration using SCALE-Sim Anand Slides (Available after the tutorial)
10:30-11:00 Tutorial 2: Modifying SCALE-Sim to add custom features Moritz [Slides]
11:00-11:45 Tutorial 3: Krittika: Simulation of distributed GEMM computation using SCALE-Sim API Anand Slides (Available after the tutorial)
11:45-Noon Closing Remarks Tushar Slides (Available after the tutorial)


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