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An error-correcting unordered code and hardware support for robust asynchronous global communication

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2 Author(s)
Agyekum, M.Y. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Nowick, S.M.

A new delay-insensitive data encoding scheme for global asynchronous communication is introduced. The goal of this work is to combine the timing-robustness of delay-insensitive (i.e., unordered) codes with the fault-tolerance of error-correcting codes. The proposed error-correcting unordered (ECU) code, called Zero-Sum, can safely accommodate arbitrary skew in arrival times of individual bits in a packet, while simultaneously providing 1-bit correction and 2-bit detection. A systematic code is targeted, where data can be directly extracted from the codewords. A basic method for generating the code is presented, as well as detailed designs for the supporting hardware blocks. An outline of the system micro-architecture and its operating protocol is also given. When compared to the best previous systematic ECU code, the new code provides a 5.74 to 18.18% reduction in transition power for most field sizes, with better or comparable coding efficiency. Pre-layout technology-mapped implementations of the supporting hardware (encoder, completion detector, error-corrector) were synthesized with the UC Berkeley ABC tool using a 90nm industrial standard cell library. Results indicate that they have moderate area and delay overheads, while the best non-systematic ECU codes have 3.82 to 10.44x greater area for larger field sizes.

Published in:

Design, Automation & Test in Europe Conference & Exhibition (DATE), 2010

Date of Conference:

8-12 March 2010