PalQuant: Accelerating High-Precision Networks on Low-Precision Accelerators

Qinghao Hu, Gang Li, Qiman Wu, Jian Cheng ;


"Recently low-precision deep learning accelerators (DLAs) have become popular due to their advantages in chip area and energy consumption, yet the low-precision quantized models on these DLAs bring in severe accuracy degradation. One way to achieve both high accuracy and efficient inference is to deploy high-precision neural networks on low-precision DLAs, which is rarely studied. In this paper, we propose the PArallel Low-precision Quantization (PalQuant) method that approximates high-precision computations via learning parallel low-precision representations from scratch. In addition, we present a novel cyclic shuffle module to boost the cross-group information communication between parallel low-precision groups. Extensive experiments demonstrate that PalQuant has superior performance to state-of-the-art quantization methods in both accuracy and inference speed, e.g., for ResNet-18 network quantization, PalQuant can obtain 0.52 % higher accuracy and 1.78 times speedup simultaneously over their 4-bit counter-part on a state-of-the-art 2-bit accelerator. Code is available at"

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