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Power-driven design of router microarchitectures in on-chip networks

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3 Author(s)
Hangsheng Wang ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., NJ, USA ; Li-Shiuan Peh ; Malik, S.

As demand for bandwidth increases in systems-on-a-chip and chip multiprocessors, networks are fast replacing buses and dedicated wires as the pervasive interconnect fabric for on-chip communication. The tight delay requirements faced by on-chip networks have resulted in prior microarchitectures being largely performance-driven. While performance is a critical metric, on-chip networks are also extremely power-constrained. In this paper, we investigate on-chip network microarchitectures from a power-driven perspective. We first analyze the power dissipation of existing network microarchitectures, highlighting insights that prompt us to devise several power-efficient network microarchitectures: segmented crossbar, cut-through crossbar and write-through buffer. We also study and uncover the power saving potential of existing network architecture: express cube. These techniques are evaluated with synthetic as well as real chip multiprocessor traces, showing a reduction in network power of up to 44.9%, along with no degradation in network performance, and even improved latency-throughput in some cases.

Published in:

Microarchitecture, 2003. MICRO-36. Proceedings. 36th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

3-5 Dec. 2003

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