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Timing analysis of network on chip architectures for MP-SoC platforms

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Microelectron. J. (UK), Volume 36, p.833-45 (2005)

URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mejo.2005.03.006

Keywords:

integrated circuit design; multiprocessor interconnection networks; system-on-chip

Abstract:

Recently, the use of multiprocessor system-on-chip (MP-SoC) platforms has emerged as an important integrated circuit design trend for high-performance computing applications. As the number of reusable intellectual property (IP) blocks on such platforms continues to increase, many have argued that monolithic bus-based interconnect architectures will not be able to support the clock cycle requirements of these leading-edge SoCs. While hierarchical system integration using multiple smaller buses connected through repeaters or bridges offer possible solutions, such approaches tend to be ad hoc in nature, and therefore, lack generality and scalability. Instead, many different forms of network on chip (NoC) architectures have been proposed in the past few years to specifically address this problem. We believe that the NoC approach will ultimately be the preferred communication fabric for next generation designs. To support this conjecture, this paper demonstrates, through detailed circuit design and timing analysis that different proposed NoC architectures to date are guaranteed to achieve the minimum possible clock cycle times in a given CMOS technology, usually specified in normalized units as 10-15 FO4 delays. This is contrasted with the bus-based approach, which may require several design iterations to deliver the same performance when the number of IP blocks connected to the bus exceeds certain limits. [All rights reserved Elsevier]