A Reconfigurable Accelerator for Neuromorphic Object Recognition (IEEE)
Advances in neuroscience have enabled researchers to develop computational models of auditory, visual and learning perceptions in the human brain. HMAX, which is a biologically inspired model of the visual cortex, has been shown to outperform standard computer vision approaches for multi-class object recognition. HMAX, while computationally demanding, can be potentially applied in various applications such as autonomous vehicle navigation, unmanned surveillance and robotics. In this paper, we present a reconfigurable hardware accelerator for the time-consuming S2 stage of the HMAX model. The accelerator leverages spatial parallelism, dedicated wide data buses with on-chip memories to provide an energy efficient solution to enable adoption into embedded systems. We present a systolic array-based architecture which includes a run-time reconfigurable convolution engine which can perform multiple variable-sized convolutions in parallel. An automation flow is described for this accelerator which can generate optimal hardware configurations for a given algorithmic specification and also perform run-time configuration and execution seamlessly. Experimental results on Virtex-6 FPGA platforms show 5X to 11X speedups and 14X to 33X higher performance-per-Watt over a CNS-based implementation on a Tesla GPU.
Paper available at IEEE.