A Scalable Pipelined Dataflow Accelerator for Object Region Proposals on FPGA Platform

Wenzhi Fu, Jianlei Yang, Pengcheng Dai, Yiran Chen, Weisheng Zhao

Region proposal is critical for object detection while it usually poses a bottleneck in improving the computation efficiency on traditional control-flow architectures. We have observed region proposal tasks are potentially suitable for performing pipelined parallelism by exploiting dataflow driven acceleration. In this paper, a scalable pipelined dataflow accelerator is proposed for efficient region proposals on FPGA platform. The accelerator processes image data by a streaming manner with three sequential stages: resizing, kernel computing and sorting. First, Ping-Pong cache strategy is adopted for rotation loading in resize module to guarantee continuous output streaming. Then, a multiple pipelines architecture with tiered memory is utilized in kernel computing module to complete the main computation tasks. Finally, a bubble-pushing heap sort method is exploited in sorting module to find the top-k largest candidates efficiently. Our design is implemented with high level synthesis on FPGA platforms, and experimental results on VOC2007 datasets show that it could achieve about 3.67X speedups than traditional desktop CPU platform and >250X energy efficiency improvement than embedded ARM platform.

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