Transformer is a deep learning language model widely used for natural language processing (NLP) services in datacenters. Among transformer models, Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) has achieved remarkable performance in text generation, or natural language generation (NLG), which needs the processing of a large input context in the summarization stage, followed by the generation stage that produces a single word at a time. The conventional platforms such as GPU are specialized for the parallel processing of large inputs in the summarization stage, but their performance significantly degrades in the generation stage due to its sequential characteristic. Therefore, an efficient hardware platform is required to address the high latency caused by the sequential characteristic of text generation. In this paper, we present DFX, a multi-FPGA acceleration appliance that executes GPT-2 model inference end-to-end with low latency and high throughput in both summarization and generation stages. DFX uses model parallelism and optimized dataflow that is model-and-hardware-aware for fast simultaneous workload execution among devices. Its compute cores operate on custom instructions and provide GPT-2 operations end-to-end. We implement the proposed hardware architecture on four Xilinx Alveo U280 FPGAs and utilize all of the channels of the high bandwidth memory (HBM) and the maximum number of compute resources for high hardware efficiency. DFX achieves 5.58x speedup and 3.99x energy efficiency over four NVIDIA V100 GPUs on the modern GPT-2 model. DFX is also 8.21x more cost-effective than the GPU appliance, suggesting that it is a promising solution for text generation workloads in cloud datacenters.
* Extension of HOTCHIPS 2022 and accepted in MICRO 2022
In this paper, we address the problem of predicting the future motion of a dynamic agent (called a target agent) given its current and past states as well as the information on its environment. It is paramount to develop a prediction model that can exploit the contextual information in both static and dynamic environments surrounding the target agent and generate diverse trajectory samples that are meaningful in a traffic context. We propose a novel prediction model, referred to as the lane-aware prediction (LaPred) network, which uses the instance-level lane entities extracted from a semantic map to predict the multi-modal future trajectories. For each lane candidate found in the neighborhood of the target agent, LaPred extracts the joint features relating the lane and the trajectories of the neighboring agents. Then, the features for all lane candidates are fused with the attention weights learned through a self-supervised learning task that identifies the lane candidate likely to be followed by the target agent. Using the instance-level lane information, LaPred can produce the trajectories compliant with the surroundings better than 2D raster image-based methods and generate the diverse future trajectories given multiple lane candidates. The experiments conducted on the public nuScenes dataset and Argoverse dataset demonstrate that the proposed LaPred method significantly outperforms the existing prediction models, achieving state-of-the-art performance in the benchmarks.