Interconnection systems for highly integrated computation devices

Angiolini, Federico (2008) Interconnection systems for highly integrated computation devices, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria elettronica, informatica e delle telecomunicazioni, 20 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/931.
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The sustained demand for faster,more powerful chips has beenmet by the availability of chip manufacturing processes allowing for the integration of increasing numbers of computation units onto a single die. The resulting outcome, especially in the embedded domain, has often been called SYSTEM-ON-CHIP (SOC) or MULTI-PROCESSOR SYSTEM-ON-CHIP (MPSOC). MPSoC design brings to the foreground a large number of challenges, one of the most prominent of which is the design of the chip interconnection. With a number of on-chip blocks presently ranging in the tens, and quickly approaching the hundreds, the novel issue of how to best provide on-chip communication resources is clearly felt. NETWORKS-ON-CHIPS (NOCS) are the most comprehensive and scalable answer to this design concern. By bringing large-scale networking concepts to the on-chip domain, they guarantee a structured answer to present and future communication requirements. The point-to-point connection and packet switching paradigms they involve are also of great help in minimizing wiring overhead and physical routing issues. However, as with any technology of recent inception, NoC design is still an evolving discipline. Several main areas of interest require deep investigation for NoCs to become viable solutions: • The design of the NoC architecture needs to strike the best tradeoff among performance, features and the tight area and power constraints of the on-chip domain. • Simulation and verification infrastructure must be put in place to explore, validate and optimize the NoC performance. • NoCs offer a huge design space, thanks to their extreme customizability in terms of topology and architectural parameters. Design tools are needed to prune this space and pick the best solutions. • Even more so given their global, distributed nature, it is essential to evaluate the physical implementation of NoCs to evaluate their suitability for next-generation designs and their area and power costs. This dissertation focuses on all of the above points, by describing a NoC architectural implementation called ×pipes; a NoC simulation environment within a cycle-accurate MPSoC emulator called MPARM; a NoC design flow consisting of a front-end tool for optimal NoC instantiation, called SunFloor, and a set of back-end facilities for the study of NoC physical implementations. This dissertation proves the viability of NoCs for current and upcoming designs, by outlining their advantages (alongwith a fewtradeoffs) and by providing a full NoC implementation framework. It also presents some examples of additional extensions of NoCs, allowing e.g. for increased fault tolerance, and outlines where NoCsmay find further application scenarios, such as in stacked chips.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Angiolini, Federico
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
network-on-chip system-on-chip on-chip interconnect fabric
Data di discussione
17 Aprile 2008

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