Energy-Efficient Design of Processing Element for Convolutional Neural Network

Yeongjae Choi, Dongmyung Bae, Jaehyeong Sim, Seungkyu Choi, Minhye Kim, Lee Sup Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Convolutional neural network (CNN) is the most prominent algorithm for its wide usage and good performance. Despite the fact that the processing element (PE) plays an important role in CNN processing, there has been no study focusing on PE design optimized for state-of-the-art CNN algorithms. In this brief, we propose an optimal PE implementation including a data representation scheme, circuit block configurations, and control signals for energy-efficient CNN. To validate the excellence of this brief, we compared our proposed design with several previous methods, and fabricated a silicon chip. The software simulation results demonstrated that we can reduce 54% of data bit lengths with negligible accuracy loss. Our optimization on PE achieves to save computing power up to 47%, and an accelerator exploiting our method shows superior results in terms of power, area, and external DRAM access.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7893765
Pages (from-to)1332-1336
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received December 23, 2016; revised March 16, 2017; accepted April 1, 2017. Date of publication April 6, 2017; date of current version November 1, 2017. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea through the Korea Government (MSIP) under Grants NRF-2014R1A2A1A05004316 and 2010-0028680. This brief was recommended by Associate Editor C.-T. Cheng. (Corresponding author: Lee-Sup Kim.) The authors are with the School of Electrical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Daejeon 34141, South Korea (e-mail:;;;;;

Publisher Copyright:
© 2004-2012 IEEE.


  • Neuromorphic computing
  • convolutional neural network
  • neural network processor
  • processing element


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