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Abstract:MEGA is a recent transformer-based architecture, which utilizes a linear recurrent operator whose parallel computation, based on the FFT, scales as $O(LlogL)$, with $L$ being the sequence length. We build upon their approach by replacing the linear recurrence with a special temporal convolutional network which permits larger receptive field size with shallower networks, and reduces the computational complexity to $O(L)$. The resulting model is called TCNCA, a Temporal Convolutional Network with Chunked Attention. We evaluate TCNCA on EnWik8 language modeling, long-range-arena (LRA) sequence classification, as well as a synthetic reasoning benchmark associative recall. On EnWik8, TCNCA outperforms MEGA, reaching a lower loss with $1.37\times$/$1.24\times$ faster forward/backward pass during training. The dilated convolutions used in TCNCA are consistently and significantly faster operations than the FFT-based parallelized recurrence in GPUs, making them a scalable candidate for handling very large sequence lengths: they are up to $7.07\times$/$2.86\times$ faster in the forward/backward pass for sequences up to 131k. Further on LRA, TCNCA achieves, on average, $1.28\times$ speed-up during inference with similar accuracy to what MEGA achieves. On associative recall, we find that even a simplified version of TCNCA, without excessive multiplicative and additive interactions, remains superior or competitive to MEGA on a range of sequence lengths and vocabulary sizes.