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The Connection-Then-Credit Flow Control Protocol for Heterogeneous Multicore Systems-on-Chip

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5 Author(s)
Nicola Concer ; Department of computer science, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA ; Luciano Bononi ; Michael Soulie ; Riccardo Locatelli
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Connection-then-credits (CTC) is a novel end-to-end flow control protocol to handle message-dependent deadlocks in best-effort networks-on-chip (NoC) for embedded multicore systems-on-chip (SoCs). CTC is based on the classic end-to-end credit-based flow control protocol but differs from it because it uses a network interface microarchitecture where a single credit counter and a single input data queue are shared among all possible communications. This architectural simplification reduces the area occupation of the network interfaces and increases their design reuse; for instance, the same network interface can be used to connect a core independently of the number of incoming and outgoing communications. CTC, however, requires a handshake preamble to initialize the credit counter in the sender network interface based on the buffering capacity of the receiver network interface. While this necessarily introduces a latency overhead in the transfer of a message, simulation-based experimental results show that the penalty in performance is limited when large messages need to be transferred, thus, making CTC a valid solution for particular classes of applications such as video stream processing.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 6 )