Shaahin Angizi & Arman Roohi
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Abstract: Internet of Things (IoT) devices are projected to attain a $1100B market by 2025, with a web of interconnection projected to comprise approximately 75+ billion IoT devices. The large number of IoTs consist of sensory systems that enable massive data collection from the environment and people. However, considerable portions of the captured sensory data are redundant and unstructured. Data conversion of such large raw data, storing in volatile memories, transmission, and computation in on-/off-chip processors, impose high energy consumption, latency, and a memory bottleneck at the edge. Motivated by the aforementioned concerns, this work paves the way to realize a processing-in-pixel accelerator based on a multi-level HfOx RRAM as a flexible, energy-efficient, and high-performance solution for real-time and smart image processing at edge devices. The proposed design intrinsically implements and supports a coarse-grained convolution operation in low-bit-width neural networks leveraging a novel compute-pixel with non-volatile weight storage at the sensor side. Our evaluations show that such a design can remarkably reduce the power consumption of data conversion and transmission to an off-chip processor maintaining accuracy compared with the recent in-sensor computing designs. Our proposed design, namely MR-PIPA, achieves a frame rate of 1000 and efficiency of ~1.89 TOp/s/W, while it substantially reduces data conversion and transmission energy by ~84% compared to a baseline at the cost of minor accuracy degradation.