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Circuit-Switched Memory Access in Photonic Interconnection Networks for High-Performance Embedded Computing

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7 Author(s)
Hendry, G. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Robinson, E. ; Gleyzer, V. ; Chan, J.
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As advancements in CMOS technology trend toward ever increasing core counts in chip multiprocessors for high-performance embedded computing, the discrepancy between on- and off-chip communication bandwidth continues to widen due to the power and spatial constraints of electronic off-chip signaling. Silicon photonics-based communication offers many advantages over electronics for network-on-chip design, namely power consumption that is effectively agnostic to distance traveled at the chip- and board-scale, even across chip boundaries. In this work we develop a design for a photonic network-on-chip with integrated DRAM I/O interfaces and compare its performance to similar electronic solutions using a detailed network-on-chip simulation. When used in a circuit-switched network, silicon nanophotonic switches offer higher bandwidth density and low power transmission, adding up to over 10x better performance and 3-5x lower power over the baseline for projective transform, matrix multiply, and Fast Fourier Transform (FFT), all key algorithms in embedded real-time signal and image processing.

Published in:

High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC), 2010 International Conference for

Date of Conference:

13-19 Nov. 2010