Design and Performance Evaluation of Network-on-Chip Communication Protocols and Architectures

Concer, Nicola (2009) Design and Performance Evaluation of Network-on-Chip Communication Protocols and Architectures, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Informatica, 21 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/1235.
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The scale down of transistor technology allows microelectronics manufacturers such as Intel and IBM to build always more sophisticated systems on a single microchip. The classical interconnection solutions based on shared buses or direct connections between the modules of the chip are becoming obsolete as they struggle to sustain the increasing tight bandwidth and latency constraints that these systems demand. The most promising solution for the future chip interconnects are the Networks on Chip (NoC). NoCs are network composed by routers and channels used to inter- connect the different components installed on the single microchip. Examples of advanced processors based on NoC interconnects are the IBM Cell processor, composed by eight CPUs that is installed on the Sony Playstation III and the Intel Teraflops pro ject composed by 80 independent (simple) microprocessors. On chip integration is becoming popular not only in the Chip Multi Processor (CMP) research area but also in the wider and more heterogeneous world of Systems on Chip (SoC). SoC comprehend all the electronic devices that surround us such as cell-phones, smart-phones, house embedded systems, automotive systems, set-top boxes etc... SoC manufacturers such as ST Microelectronics , Samsung, Philips and also Universities such as Bologna University, M.I.T., Berkeley and more are all proposing proprietary frameworks based on NoC interconnects. These frameworks help engineers in the switch of design methodology and speed up the development of new NoC-based systems on chip. In this Thesis we propose an introduction of CMP and SoC interconnection networks. Then focusing on SoC systems we propose: • a detailed analysis based on simulation of the Spidergon NoC, a ST Microelectronics solution for SoC interconnects. The Spidergon NoC differs from many classical solutions inherited from the parallel computing world. Here we propose a detailed analysis of this NoC topology and routing algorithms. Furthermore we propose aEqualized a new routing algorithm designed to optimize the use of the resources of the network while also increasing its performance; • a methodology flow based on modified publicly available tools that combined can be used to design, model and analyze any kind of System on Chip; • a detailed analysis of a ST Microelectronics-proprietary transport-level protocol that the author of this Thesis helped developing; • a simulation-based comprehensive comparison of different network interface designs proposed by the author and the researchers at AST lab, in order to integrate shared-memory and message-passing based components on a single System on Chip; • a powerful and flexible solution to address the time closure exception issue in the design of synchronous Networks on Chip. Our solution is based on relay stations repeaters and allows to reduce the power and area demands of NoC interconnects while also reducing its buffer needs; • a solution to simplify the design of the NoC by also increasing their performance and reducing their power and area consumption. We propose to replace complex and slow virtual channel-based routers with multiple and flexible small Multi Plane ones. This solution allows us to reduce the area and power dissipation of any NoC while also increasing its performance especially when the resources are reduced. This Thesis has been written in collaboration with the Advanced System Technology laboratory in Grenoble France, and the Computer Science Department at Columbia University in the city of New York.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Concer, Nicola
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze e ingegneria dell'informazione
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Network On Chip, NoC, Routing Algorithms, System on Chip, SoC, Mapping, Wire Pipelining
Data di discussione
20 Aprile 2009

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