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Should We Even Optimize for Execution Energy? Rethinking Mapping for MAGIC Design Style

Simranjeet Singh; Chandan Kumar Jha; Ankit Bende; Phrangboklang Lyngton Thangkhiew; Vikas Rana; Sachin Patkar; Rolf Drechsler; Farhad Merchant
In: International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis | Embedded System Week (CODES+ISSS). International Conference on Hardware/Software Codesign and System Synthesis (CODES+ISSS-2023), September 17-22, Hamburg, Germany, 2023.


Memristor-based logic-in-memory (LiM) has become popular as a means to overcome the von Neumann bottleneck in traditional data-intensive computing. Recently, the memristor-aided logic (MAGIC) design style has gained immense traction for LiM due to its simplicity. However, understanding the energy distribution during the design of logic operations within the memristive memory is crucial in assessing such an implementation’s significance. The current energy estimation methods rely on coarse-grained techniques, which underestimate the energy consumption of MAGIC-styled operations performed on a memristor crossbar. To address this issue, we analyze the energy breakdown in MAGIC operations and propose a solution that utilizes mapping from the SIMPLER MAGIC tool to achieve accurate energy estimation through SPICE simulations. In contrast to existing research that primarily focuses on optimizing execution energy, our findings reveal that the memristor’s initialization energy in the MAGIC design style is, on average, 68× higher. We demonstrate that this initialization energy significantly dominates the overall energy consumption. By highlighting this aspect, we aim to redirect the attention of designers towards developing algorithms and strategies that prioritize optimizations in initializations rather than execution for more effective energy savings.