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System-Level Modeling and Analysis of Thermal Effects in Optical Networks-on-Chip

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8 Author(s)
Yaoyao Ye ; Dept. of Electron. & Comput. Eng., Hong Kong Univ. of Sci. & Technol., Hong Kong, China ; Jiang Xu ; Xiaowen Wu ; Wei Zhang
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The performance of multiprocessor systems, such as chip multiprocessors (CMPs), is determined not only by individual processor performance, but also by how efficiently the processors collaborate with one another. It is the communication architecture that determines the collaboration efficiency on the hardware side. Optical networks-on-chip (ONoCs) are emerging communication architectures that can potentially offer ultra-high communication bandwidth and low latency to multiprocessor systems. Thermal sensitivity is an intrinsic characteristic of photonic devices used by ONoCs as well as a potential issue. This paper systematically modeled and quantitatively analyzed the thermal effects in ONoCs. We used an 8 × 8 mesh-based ONoC as a case study and evaluated the impacts of thermal effects in the average power efficiency for real MPSoC applications. We revealed three important factors regarding ONoC power efficiency under temperature variations, and proposed several techniques to reduce the temperature sensitivity of ONoCs. These techniques include the optimal initial setting of microresonator resonant wavelength, increasing the 3-dB bandwidth of optical switching elements by parallel coupling multiple microresonators, and the use of passive-routing optical router Crux to minimize the number of switching stages in mesh-based ONoCs. We gave a mathematical analysis of periodically parallel coupling of multiple microresonators and show that the 3-dB bandwidth of optical switching elements can be widened nearly linearly with the ring number. Evaluation results for different real MPSoC applications show that, on the basis of thermal tuning, the optimal device setting improves the average power efficiency by 54% to 1.2 pJ/bit when chip temperature reaches 85 °C. The findings in this paper can help support the further development of this emerging technology.

Published in:

Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 2 )