CIDAN: Computing in DRAM with Artificial Neurons

Gian Singh, Ankit Wagle, Sarma Vrudhula, Sunil Khatri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Numerous applications such as graph processing, cryptography, databases, bioinformatics, etc., involve the repeated evaluation of Boolean functions on large bit vectors. In-memory architectures which perform processing in memory (PIM) are tailored for such applications. This paper describes a different architecture for in-memory computation called CIDAN, that achieves a 3X improvement in performance and a 2X improvement in energy for a representative set of algorithms over the state-of-the-art in-memory architectures. CIDAN uses a new basic processing element called a TLPE, which comprises a threshold logic gate (TLG) (a.k.a artificial neuron or perceptron). The implementation of a TLG within a TLPE is equivalent to a multi-input, edge-triggered flipflop that computes a subset of threshold functions of its inputs. The specific threshold function is selected on each cycle by enabling/disabling a subset of the weights associated with the threshold function, by using logic signals. In addition to the TLG, a TLPE realizes some non-threshold functions by a sequence of TLG evaluations. An equivalent CMOS implementation of a TLPE requires a substantially higher area and power. CIDAN has an array of TLPE(s) that is integrated with a DRAM, to allow fast evaluation of any one of its set of functions on large bit vectors. Results of running several common in-memory applications in graph processing and cryptography are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2021 IEEE 39th International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781665432191
StatePublished - 2021
Event39th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2021 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: Oct 24 2021Oct 27 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Computer Design: VLSI in Computers and Processors
ISSN (Print)1063-6404


Conference39th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Artificial neuron
  • Bulk Bitwise Operations
  • DRAM
  • Energy
  • In-Memory Computing
  • Memory Bandwidth
  • Memory Wall
  • Processing In-Memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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