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JIT-Q: Just-in-time Quantization with Processing-In-Memory for Efficient ML Training

Mohamed Ibrahim · Shaizeen Aga · Ada Li · Suchita Pati · Mahzabeen Islam

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Wed 15 May 1:30 p.m. PDT — 1:50 p.m. PDT


Data format innovations have been critical for machine learning (ML) scaling, which in turn fuels ground-breaking ML capabilities. However, even in the presence of low-precision formats, model weights are often stored in both high-precision and low-precision during training. Furthermore, with emerging directional data-formats (e.g., MX9, MX6, etc.) multiple low-precision weight copies can be required. To lower memory capacity needs of weights, we explore just-in-time quantization (JIT-Q) where we only store high-precision weights in memory and generate low-precision weights only when needed. To perform JIT-Q efficiently, in this work, we evaluate emerging processing-in-memory (PIM) technology to execute quantization. With PIM, we can offload quantization to in-memory compute units enabling quantization to be performed without incurring costly data-movement while allowing quantization to be concurrent with accelerator computation. Our proposed PIM-offloaded quantization keeps up with GPU compute and delivers considerable capacity savings (up to 24\%) at marginal throughput loss (up to 2.4\%). Said memory capacity savings can unlock several benefits such as fitting larger model in the same system, reducing model parallelism requirement, and improving overall ML training efficiency.

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