Sunday, June 16, 2024

Latest DirectML boosts AMD GPU AWQ-based LM acceleration

Minimize Memory Usage and Enhance Performance while Running LLMs on AMD Ryzen AI and Radeon Platforms Overview of 4-bit quantization.

AMD and Microsoft have worked closely together to accelerate generative AI workloads on AMD systems over the past year with ONNXRuntime with DirectML. As a follow-up to AMD’s earlier releases, AMD is pleased to announce that they are enabling 4-bit quantization support and acceleration for Large Language Models (LLMs) on discrete and integrated AMD Radeon GPU platforms that are using ONNXRuntime->DirectML in close cooperation with Microsoft.

Memory bandwidth and system memory availability inevitably cause bottlenecks in LLMs. The memory consumption of the system increases dramatically based on the amount of parameters used by the LLM (7B, 13B, 70B, etc.), making some of the rivalry in managing such workloads. In order to address that issue and enable a broad range of discrete and integrated GPUs to run certain LLM workloads, AMD is introducing 4-bit quantization for LLM parameters, which will enable these workloads to run with significant memory reduction while also boosting speed.

4-bit quantization
Image credit to AMD

NEW! Awareness-Based Quantization(AWQ)

Microsoft and AMD are pleased to present Activation-Aware Quantization (AWQ) based LM acceleration enhanced on AMD GPU architectures with the most recent DirectML and AMD driver preview release. When feasible, the AWQ approach reduces weights to 4-bit with little impact on accuracy. This results in a large decrease in the amount of memory required to run these LLM models while also improving performance.

By determining the top 1% of salient weights required to preserve model correctness and quantizing the remaining 99% of weight parameters, the AWQ approach can accomplish this compression while retaining accuracy. Up to three times the memory reduction for the quantized weights/LLM parameters is achieved by using this technique, which determines which weights to quantize from 16-bit to 4-bit based on the actual data distribution in the activations. Compared to conventional weight quantization methods that ignore activation data distributions, it is also possible to preserve model fidelity by accounting for the data distribution in activations.

To obtain a performance boost on AMD Radeon GPUs, AMD driver resident ML layers dequantize the parameters and accelerate on the ML hardware during runtime. This 4-bit AWQ quantization is carried out utilizing Microsoft Olive toolchains for DirectML. Before the model is used for inference, the post-training quantization procedure described below is carried out offline. It was previously impossible to execute these language models (LM) on a device on a system with limited memory, but our technique makes it viable now.

Making Use of Hardware Capabilities

  • Ryzen AI NPU: Make use of the Neural Processing Unit (NPU) if your Ryzen CPU has one integrated! Specifically engineered to handle AI workloads efficiently, the NPU frees up CPU processing time while utilizing less memory overall.
  • Radeon GPU: To conduct LLM inference on your Radeon graphics card (GPU), think about utilizing AMD’s ROCm software stack. For the parallel processing workloads typical of LLMs, GPUs are frequently more appropriate, perhaps relieving the CPU of memory pressure.

Software Enhancements:

  • Quantization: Quantization drastically lowers the memory footprint of the LLM by reducing the amount of bits required to represent weights and activations. AMD [AMD Ryzen AI LLM Performance] suggests 4-bit KM quantization for Ryzen AI systems.
  • Model Pruning: To minimise the size and memory needs of the LLM, remove unnecessary connections from it PyTorch and TensorFlow offer pruning.
  • Knowledge distillation teaches a smaller student model to act like a larger teacher model. This may result in an LLM that is smaller and has similar functionality.

Making Use of Frameworks and Tools:

  • LM Studio: This intuitive software facilitates the deployment of LLMs on Ryzen AI PCs without the need for coding. It probably optimizes AMD hardware’s use of resources.

Generally Suggested Practices:

  • Select the appropriate LLM size: Choose an LLM that has the skills you require, but nothing more. Bigger models have more memory required.
  • Aim for optimal batch sizes: Try out various batch sizes to determine the ideal ratio between processing performance and memory utilization.
  • Track memory consumption: Applications such as AMD Radeon Software and Nvidia System Management Interface (nvidia-smi) can assist in tracking memory usage and pinpointing bottlenecks.

AWQ quantization

4-bit AWQ quantization using Microsoft Olive toolchains for DirectML

4-bit AWQ Quantization: This method lowers the amount of bits in a neural network model that are used to represent activations and weights. It can dramatically reduce the model’s memory footprint.

Microsoft Olive: Olive is a neural network quantization framework that is independent of AMD or DirectML hardware. It is compatible with a number of hardware systems.

DirectML is a Microsoft API designed to run machine learning models on Windows-based devices, with a focus on hardware acceleration for devices that meet the requirements.

4-bit KM Quantization

  • AMD advises against utilizing AWQ quantization for Ryzen AI systems and instead suggests 4-bit KM quantization. Within the larger field of quantization approaches, KM is a particular quantization scheme.
  • Olive is not directly related to AMD or DirectML, even if it can be used for quantization. It is an independent tool.
  • The quantized model for inference might be deployed via DirectML on an AMD-compatible Windows device, but DirectML wouldn’t be used for the quantization process itself.
  • In conclusion, AMD Ryzen AI uses a memory reduction technique called 4-bit KM quantization. While Olive is a tool that may be used for quantization, it is not directly related to DirectML.


Memory footprint reduction on AMD Radeon 7900 XTX systems when compared to executing the 16-bit version of the weight00000s; comparable reduction on AMD Ryzen AI platforms with AMD Radeon 780m.

Since June 2023, Drakshi has been writing articles of Artificial Intelligence for govindhtech. She was a postgraduate in business administration. She was an enthusiast of Artificial Intelligence.


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