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Leveraging Optical Technology in Future Bus-based Chip Multiprocessors

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7 Author(s)
Kirman, N. ; Comput. Syst. Lab., Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY ; Kirman, M. ; Dokania, R.K. ; Martinez, J.F.
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Although silicon optical technology is still in its formative stages, and the more near-term application is chip-to-chip communication, rapid advances have been made in the development of on-chip optical interconnects. In this paper, we investigate the integration of CMOS-compatible optical technology to on-chip cache-coherent buses in future CMPs. While not exhaustive, our investigation yields a hierarchical opto-electrical system that exploits the advantages of optical technology while abiding by projected limitations. Our evaluation shows that, for the applications considered, compared to an aggressive all-electrical bus of similar power and area, significant performance improvements can be achieved using an opto-electrical bus. This performance improvement is largely dependent on the application's bandwidth demand and on the number of implemented wavelengths per optical waveguide. We also present a number of critical areas for future work that we discover in the course of our research

Published in:

Microarchitecture, 2006. MICRO-39. 39th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

9-13 Dec. 2006