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We present a system-level buffer planning algorithm that can be used to customize the router design in networks-on-chip (NoCs). More precisely, given the traffic characteristics of the target application and the buffering space budget, our algorithm automatically assigns the buffer depth for each input channel, in different routers across the chip, to match the communication pattern, such that the overall performance is maximized. This is in deep contrast with the uniform assignment of buffering resources (currently used in NoC design) which can significantly degrade the overall system performance. For instance, for a complex audio/video application, about 85% savings in buffering resources can be achieved by smart buffer allocation using our algorithm without any reduction in performance.
Date of Conference: 7-11 Nov. 2004