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Virtual Circuit Tree Multicasting: A Case for On-Chip Hardware Multicast Support

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3 Author(s)
Jerger, N.E. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI ; Li-Shiuan Peh ; Lipasti, M.

Current state-of-the-art on-chip networks provide efficiency, high throughput, and low latency for one-to-one (unicast) traffic. The presence of one-to-many (multicast) or one-to-all (broadcast) traffic can significantly degrade the performance of these designs, since they rely on multiple unicasts to provide one-to-many communication. This results in a burst of packets from a single source and is a very inefficient way of performing multicast and broadcast communication. This inefficiency is compounded by the proliferation of architectures and coherence protocols that require multicast and broadcast communication. In this paper, we characterize a wide array of on-chip communication scenarios that benefit from hardware multicast support. We propose Virtual Circuit Tree Multicasting (VCTM) and present a detailed multicast router design that improves network performance by up to 90% while reducing network activity (hence power) by up to 53%.Our VCTM router is flexible enough to improve interconnect performance for a broad spectrum of multicasting scenarios,and achieves these benefits with straightforward and inexpensive extensions to a state-of-the-art packet-switched router.

Published in:

Computer Architecture, 2008. ISCA '08. 35th International Symposium on

Date of Conference:

21-25 June 2008