JIT-Q: Just-in-time Quantization with Processing-In-Memory for Efficient ML Training

Part of Proceedings of Machine Learning and Systems 6 (MLSys 2024) Conference

Bibtex Paper


Mohamed Ibrahim, Shaizeen Aga, Ada Li, Suchita Pati, Mahzabeen Islam


Data format innovations have been critical for machine learning (ML) scaling, which in turn fuels ground-breaking ML capabilities. However, even in the presence of low-precision formats, model weights are often stored in both high-precision and low-precision during training. Furthermore, with emerging directional data-formats (e.g., MX9, MX6, etc.) multiple low-precision weight copies can be required. To lower memory capacity needs of weights, we explore just-in-time quantization (JIT-Q) where we only store high-precision weights in memory and generate low-precision weights only when needed. To perform JIT-Q efficiently, in this work, we evaluate emerging processing-in-memory (PIM) technology to execute quantization. With PIM, we can offload quantization to in-memory compute units enabling quantization to be performed without incurring costly data-movement while allowing quantization to be concurrent with accelerator computation. Our proposed PIM-offloaded quantization keeps up with GPU compute and delivers considerable capacity savings (up to 24\%) at marginal throughput loss (up to 2.4\%). Said memory capacity savings can unlock several benefits such as fitting larger model in the same system, reducing model parallelism requirement, and improving overall ML training efficiency.