Available Network Architecture#

Brief Introduction of the DynapCNN Core#

Our devkit has 9 DynapCNN Cores, each core can executes Asynchronous Convolution. Each core also have the following features:

  1. Each core has an unique index number, the first core’s index starts from 0. So the index is in range [0, 8).

  2. Each core can only define 2 destination cores as its output destination core(layer). See detail.

  3. You can define multiple cores to have one same destination core. Technically,you can use this feature to achieve a short-cut(residual connection) like ResNet does. See detail.

  4. Each core can optionally apply a sum-pooling operation before feeding the output events into the destination core. See detail.

  5. Each core can optionally apply a channel-shift operation before feeding the output events into the destination core. Technically, you can use this feature to concatenate two cores’ output events among the channel axis. See detail.

  6. You can define the order of cores/layers by defining the destination index of each core, i.e. the order of the 9 layers on the chip can be customized by yourself. We already have this feature in sinabs-dynapcnn. When you deploy an SNN to the devkit, you can do:

from sinabs.backend.dynapcnn import DynapcnnNetwork

# suppose snn is a 4-layers network
dynapcnn = DynapcnnNetwork(snn=snn, discretize=True, dvs_input=False, input_shape=input_shape)
# deploy the SNN
dynapcnn.to(devcie="your device", chip_layers_ordering="auto")
# or you can do
dynapcnn.to(devcie="your device", chip_layers_ordering=[0, 1, 2, 3])
# or
dynapcnn.to(devcie="your device", chip_layers_ordering=[2, 5, 7, 1])

What network structure can I define?#

Currently, sinabs-dynapcnn can only parse a torch.nn.Sequential like architecture. So it is recommended to use a Sequential like network. We are developing a network graph extraction feature at the present, which will help the user to deploy their networks with more complex architecture to the devkit.

Can I achieve a “Residual Connection” like ResNet does?#

Like mentioned above, “Yes, we can define a residual short-cut on the devkit”. However, currently you can only manually change the samna.dynapcnn.configuration.CNNLayerDestination.layer to achieve this, you can do this if you are very familiar with the samna-configuration. Otherwise,let’s wait for a while after the “network graph extraction feature” is completed.

What If I Really Want to Use “Residual Connection”!#

Alright! Here I will give an example of achieving the “Residual Connection” by manually modify the samna-configuration.

Let’s say you want an architecture like below:

from torch import nn
from sinabs.layers import IAFSqueeze

class ResidualBlock(nn.Module):

    def __init__(self):

        super(ResidualBlock, self).__init__()
        self.conv1 = nn.Conv2d(1, 2, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False)
        self.iaf1 = IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0)

        self.conv2 = nn.Conv2d(2, 2, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False)
        self.iaf2 = IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0)

        self.conv3 = nn.Conv2d(2, 4, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False)
        self.iaf3 = IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0)

    def forward(self, x):

        tmp = self.conv1(x)
        tmp = self.iaf1(tmp)
        out = self.conv2(tmp)
        out = self.iaf2(tmp)
        # residual connection
        out += tmp
        out = self.conv3(out)
        out = self.iaf3(out)

        return out

Since currently sinabs-dynapcnn can only parse Sequential like network, we need to some tedious work like below:

# define a Sequential first
SNN = nn.Sequential(

    nn.Conv2d(1, 2, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False),
    IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0),

    nn.Conv2d(2, 2, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False),
    IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0),

    nn.Conv2d(2, 4, kernel_size=(1, 1), bias=False),
    IAFSqueeze(batch_size=1, min_v_mem=-1.0),

# make samna configuration
dynapcnn = DynapcnnNetwork(snn=SNN, input_shape=(1, 16, 16), dvs_input=False)
samna_cfg = dynapcnn.make_config(device="speck2fmodule")

# samna_cfg.cnn_layers[layer].destinations[0] stores each core's first destination layers configuration
# check the default layer ordering
for layer in [0, 1, 2]:
    print(f"Is layer {layer} output turned on: {samna_cfg.cnn_layers[layer].destinations[0].enable}")
    print(f"The destination layer of layer {layer} is layer {samna_cfg.cnn_layers[layer].destinations[0].layer}")

# manually modify the samna config
# since 1 DYNAP-CNN core can have 2 destination layer
# we need to enable the core#0's 2nd output destination and target it to core#2
# so we need to modify samna_cfg.cnn_layers[0].destinations[1]

samna_cfg.cnn_layers[0].destinations[1].enable = True
samna_cfg.cnn_layers[0].destinations[1].layer = 2

# by applying the modification above, we not only send the output of core#0 to core#1 but also to core#2.
# which means we achieve the residual block!

# finally we just need to apply the samna configuration to the devkit, we finish the deployment.
devkit = samna.device.open_device("Speck2fModuleDevKit")

I have to say it is not an elegant solution though, it should help you to achieve an initial Residual Block. We will improve this part after sinabs-dynapcnn has the ability for extracting model’s graph.

What execution order should I be aware of when I am implementing a sequential structure?#

You should be aware with the internal layer order. DYNAP-CNN techonology defines serveral layers that can be communicates each other. In a layer, the Convolution and Neuron activation must be implemented with an order like:

Conv–> IAF –>pool(optional)

The cascaded convolution and neuron activation in a DYNAPCNN layer is not allowed.


Ex1. Bad Case: Cascaded convolution#

network = nn.sequential([

Ex2. Bad Case: None sequential#

class Network:

    def __init__(self):
        self.conv1 = nn.conv2d()
        self.iaf = IAFsqueeze()
    def forward(self, x):
        out = self.conv1(x)
        out = self.iaf(out)
        return out

Ex3. Bad Case: Use unsupport operation#

network = nn.sequential([
                        nn.BatchNorm2d(), # unspport in speck/dynapcnn

Ex3. Good Case: Use unsupport operation#

network = nn.sequential([
                        # up to here is using 1 dynapcnn layer
                        # up to here is using 2 dynapcnn layer

Memory Constrains#

Each core has a different “neuron memory” and “weight memory” constraints in the design. Please be careful about the memory limitations when you design your SNN. See detail in the overview of devkit.

Feature Map Size Constrains#

The maximum output feature map size supported by each core is 64 x 64, while our maximum input shape is 128 x 128. So you need to at least down-sample the input into 64 x 64 by pooling or stride-convolution in the first layer of your model.

Limitation of Using ReadoutLayer#

If you are using readout layer, the number of output class should < 15. See detail in the readout layer introduction.