In-memory hyperdimensional computing

Geethan Karunaratne, Manuel Le Gallo, Giovanni Cherubini, Luca Benini, Abbas Rahimi, Abu Sebastian

Hyperdimensional computing (HDC) is an emerging computing framework that takes inspiration from attributes of neuronal circuits such as hyperdimensionality, fully distributed holographic representation, and (pseudo)randomness. When employed for machine learning tasks such as learning and classification, HDC involves manipulation and comparison of large patterns within memory. Moreover, a key attribute of HDC is its robustness to the imperfections associated with the computational substrates on which it is implemented. It is therefore particularly amenable to emerging non-von Neumann paradigms such as in-memory computing, where the physical attributes of nanoscale memristive devices are exploited to perform computation in place. Here, we present a complete in-memory HDC system that achieves a near-optimum trade-off between design complexity and classification accuracy based on three prototypical HDC related learning tasks, namely, language classification, news classification, and hand gesture recognition from electromyography signals. Comparable accuracies to software implementations are demonstrated, experimentally, using 760,000 phase-change memory devices performing analog in-memory computing.

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