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Pipelined Control-Path Effects on Area and Performance of a Wormhole-Switched Network-on-Chip

Authors: Faizal A. Samman, Thomas Hollstein, Manfred Glesner


This paper presents design trade-off and performance impacts of the amount of pipeline phase of control path signals in a wormhole-switched network-on-chip (NoC). The numbers of the pipeline phase of the control path vary between two- and one-cycle pipeline phase. The control paths consist of the routing request paths for output selection and the arbitration paths for input selection. Data communications between on-chip routers are implemented synchronously and for quality of service, the inter-router data transports are controlled by using a link-level congestion control to avoid lose of data because of an overflow. The trade-off between the area (logic cell area) and the performance (bandwidth gain) of two proposed NoC router microarchitectures are presented in this paper. The performance evaluation is made by using a traffic scenario with different number of workloads under 2D mesh NoC topology using a static routing algorithm. By using a 130-nm CMOS standard-cell technology, our NoC routers can be clocked at 1 GHz, resulting in a high speed network link and high router bandwidth capacity of about 320 Gbit/s. Based on our experiments, the amount of control path pipeline stages gives more significant impact on the NoC performance than the impact on the logic area of the NoC router.

Keywords: Network-on-Chip, Synchronous Parallel Pipeline, Router Architecture, Wormhole Switching

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