On-device acceleration of enormous diffusion fashions by way of GPU-aware optimizations – Google AI Weblog


The proliferation of enormous diffusion fashions for picture technology has led to a big improve in mannequin dimension and inference workloads. On-device ML inference in cellular environments requires meticulous efficiency optimization and consideration of trade-offs attributable to useful resource constraints. Operating inference of enormous diffusion fashions (LDMs) on-device, pushed by the necessity for value effectivity and consumer privateness, presents even larger challenges as a result of substantial reminiscence necessities and computational calls for of those fashions.

We deal with this problem in our work titled “Velocity Is All You Want: On-System Acceleration of Giant Diffusion Fashions by way of GPU-Conscious Optimizations” (to be introduced on the CVPR 2023 workshop for Environment friendly Deep Studying for Laptop Imaginative and prescient) specializing in the optimized execution of a foundational LDM mannequin on a cellular GPU. On this weblog submit, we summarize the core strategies we employed to efficiently execute massive diffusion fashions like Secure Diffusion at full decision (512×512 pixels) and 20 iterations on fashionable smartphones with high-performing inference velocity of the unique mannequin with out distillation of underneath 12 seconds. As mentioned in our earlier weblog submit, GPU-accelerated ML inference is commonly restricted by reminiscence efficiency, and execution of LDMs isn’t any exception. Subsequently, the central theme of our optimization is environment friendly reminiscence enter/output (I/O) even when it means selecting memory-efficient algorithms over people who prioritize arithmetic logic unit effectivity. In the end, our major goal is to cut back the general latency of the ML inference.

A pattern output of an LDM on Cellular GPU with the immediate textual content: “a photograph lifelike and excessive decision picture of a cute pet with surrounding flowers”.

Enhanced consideration module for reminiscence effectivity

An ML inference engine sometimes gives a wide range of optimized ML operations. Regardless of this, reaching optimum efficiency can nonetheless be difficult as there’s a specific amount of overhead for executing particular person neural internet operators on a GPU. To mitigate this overhead, ML inference engines incorporate intensive operator fusion guidelines that consolidate a number of operators right into a single operator, thereby lowering the variety of iterations throughout tensor components whereas maximizing compute per iteration. For example, TensorFlow Lite makes use of operator fusion to mix computationally costly operations, like convolutions, with subsequent activation capabilities, like rectified linear models, into one.

A transparent alternative for optimization is the closely used consideration block adopted within the denoiser mannequin within the LDM. The eye blocks enable the mannequin to deal with particular components of the enter by assigning increased weights to essential areas. There are a number of methods one can optimize the eye modules, and we selectively make use of one of many two optimizations defined beneath relying on which optimization performs higher.

The primary optimization, which we name partially fused softmax, removes the necessity for intensive reminiscence writes and reads between the softmax and the matrix multiplication within the consideration module. Let the eye block be only a easy matrix multiplication of the shape Y = softmax(X) * W the place X and W are 2D matrices of form a×b and b×c, respectively (proven beneath within the prime half).

For numerical stability, T = softmax(X) is usually calculated in three passes:

  1. Decide the utmost worth within the listing, i.e., for every row in matrix X
  2. Sum up the variations of the exponential of every listing merchandise and the utmost worth (from move 1)
  3. Divide the exponential of the objects minus the utmost worth by the sum from move 2

Finishing up these passes naïvely would end in an enormous reminiscence write for the non permanent intermediate tensor T holding the output of your complete softmax perform. We bypass this massive reminiscence write if we solely retailer the outcomes of passes 1 and a pair of, labeled m and s, respectively, that are small vectors, with a components every, in comparison with T which has a·b components. With this method, we’re capable of cut back tens and even a whole bunch of megabytes of reminiscence consumption by a number of orders of magnitude (proven beneath within the backside half).

Consideration modules. High: A naïve consideration block, composed of a SOFTMAX (with all three passes) and a MATMUL, requires a big reminiscence write for the large intermediate tensor T. Backside: Our memory-efficient consideration block with partially fused softmax in MATMUL solely must retailer two small intermediate tensors for m and s.

The opposite optimization entails using FlashAttention, which is an I/O-aware, precise consideration algorithm. This algorithm reduces the variety of GPU high-bandwidth reminiscence accesses, making it a superb match for our reminiscence bandwidth–restricted use case. Nevertheless, we discovered this method to solely work for SRAM with sure sizes and to require numerous registers. Subsequently, we solely leverage this method for consideration matrices with a sure dimension on a choose set of GPUs.

Winograd quick convolution for 3×3 convolution layers

The spine of frequent LDMs closely depends on 3×3 convolution layers (convolutions with filter dimension 3×3), comprising over 90% of the layers within the decoder. Regardless of elevated reminiscence consumption and numerical errors, we discovered that Winograd quick convolution to be efficient at rushing up the convolutions. Distinct from the filter dimension 3×3 utilized in convolutions, tile dimension refers back to the dimension of a sub area of the enter tensor that’s processed at a time. Growing the tile dimension enhances the effectivity of the convolution by way of arithmetic logic unit (ALU) utilization. Nevertheless, this enchancment comes on the expense of elevated reminiscence consumption. Our assessments point out {that a} tile dimension of 4×4 achieves the optimum trade-off between computational effectivity and reminiscence utilization.

    Reminiscence utilization    
    Tile dimension         FLOPS financial savings         Intermediate tensors         Weights    
2×2 2.25× 4.00× 1.77×
4×4 4.00× 2.25× 4.00×
6×6 5.06× 1.80× 7.12×
8×8 5.76× 1.56× 11.1×

Influence of Winograd with various tile sizes for 3×3 convolutions.

Specialised operator fusion for reminiscence effectivity

We found that performantly inferring LDMs on a cellular GPU requires considerably bigger fusion home windows for generally employed layers and models in LDMs than present off-the-shelf on-device GPU-accelerated ML inference engines present. Consequently, we developed specialised implementations that would execute a bigger vary of neural operators than typical fusion guidelines would allow. Particularly, we centered on two specializations: the Gaussian Error Linear Unit (GELU) and the group normalization layer.

An approximation of GELU with the hyperbolic tangent perform requires writing to and studying from seven auxiliary intermediate tensors (proven beneath as mild orange rounded rectangles within the determine beneath), studying from the enter tensor x thrice, and writing to the output tensor y as soon as throughout eight GPU packages implementing the labeled operation every (mild blue rectangles). A customized GELU implementation that performs the eight operations in a single shader (proven beneath within the backside) can bypass all of the reminiscence I/O for the intermediate tensors.

GELU implementations. High: A naïve implementation with built-in operations would require 8 reminiscence writes and 10 reads. Backside: Our customized GELU solely requires 1 reminiscence learn (for x) and 1 write (for y).


After making use of all of those optimizations, we performed assessments of Secure Diffusion 1.5 (picture decision 512×512, 20 iterations) on high-end cellular units. Operating Secure Diffusion with our GPU-accelerated ML inference mannequin makes use of 2,093MB for the weights and 84MB for the intermediate tensors. With newest high-end smartphones, Secure Diffusion may be run in underneath 12 seconds.

Secure Diffusion runs on fashionable smartphones in underneath 12 seconds. Be aware that working the decoder after every iteration for displaying the intermediate output on this animated GIF ends in a ~2× slowdown.


Acting on-device ML inference of enormous fashions has confirmed to be a considerable problem, encompassing limitations in mannequin file dimension, intensive runtime reminiscence necessities, and protracted inference latency. By recognizing reminiscence bandwidth utilization as the first bottleneck, we directed our efforts in direction of optimizing reminiscence bandwidth utilization and hanging a fragile stability between ALU effectivity and reminiscence effectivity. Consequently, we achieved state-of-the-art inference latency for big diffusion fashions. You may be taught extra about this work in the paper.


We would prefer to thank Yu-Hui Chen, Jiuqiang Tang, Frank Barchard, Yang Zhao, Joe Zou, Khanh LeViet, Chuo-Ling Chang, Andrei Kulik, Lu Wang, and Matthias Grundmann.


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