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Article

Hardware Implementation of a Softmax-Like Function for Deep Learning

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Patras, 26 504 Patras, Greece
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This paper is an extended version of our paper published in Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Modern Circuits and Systems Technologies (MOCAST), Thessaloniki, Greece, 13–15 May 2019.
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 14 August 2020 / Accepted: 25 August 2020 / Published: 28 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MOCAST 2019: Modern Circuits and Systems Technologies on Electronics)
In this paper a simplified hardware implementation of a CNN softmax-like layer is proposed. Initially the softmax activation function is analyzed in terms of required numerical accuracy and certain optimizations are proposed. A proposed adaptable hardware architecture is evaluated in terms of the introduced error due to the proposed softmax-like function. The proposed architecture can be adopted to the accuracy required by the application by retaining or eliminating certain terms of the approximation thus allowing to explore accuracy for complexity trade-offs. Furthermore, the proposed circuits are synthesized in a 90 nm 1.0 V CMOS standard-cell library using Synopsys Design Compiler. Comparisons reveal that significant reduction is achieved in area × delay and power × delay products for certain cases, respectively, over prior art. Area and power savings are achieved with respect to performance and accuracy. View Full-Text
Keywords: softmax; convolutional neural networks; VLSI; deep learning softmax; convolutional neural networks; VLSI; deep learning
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kouretas, I.; Paliouras, V. Hardware Implementation of a Softmax-Like Function for Deep Learning. Technologies 2020, 8, 46. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies8030046

AMA Style

Kouretas I, Paliouras V. Hardware Implementation of a Softmax-Like Function for Deep Learning. Technologies. 2020; 8(3):46. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies8030046

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kouretas, Ioannis, and Vassilis Paliouras. 2020. "Hardware Implementation of a Softmax-Like Function for Deep Learning" Technologies 8, no. 3: 46. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/technologies8030046

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