PriML: An Electro-Optical Accelerator for Private Machine Learning on Encrypted Data

Mengxin Zheng1, Fan Chen1, Lei Jiang1, Qian Lou2
1Indiana University Bloomington, 2University of Central Florida


The widespread use of machine learning is changing our daily lives. Unfortunately, clients are often concerned about the privacy of their data when using machine learning-based applications. To address these concerns, the development of privacy-preserving machine learning (PPML) is essential. One promising approach is the use of fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) based PPML, which enables services to be performed on encrypted data without decryption. Although the speed of computationally expensive FHE operations can be significantly boosted by prior ASIC-based FHE accelerators, the performance of key-switching, the dominate primitive in various FHE operations, is seriously limited by their small bit-width datapaths and frequent matrix transpositions. In this paper, we present an electro-optical (EO) PPML accelerator, PriML, to accelerate FHE operations. Its 512-bit datapath supporting 510-bit residues greatly reduces the key-switching cost. We also create an in-scratchpad-memory transpose unit to fast transpose matrices. Compared to prior PPML accelerators, on average, PriML reduces the latency of various machine learning applications by $>94.4\%$ and the energy consumption by $>95\%$.