A quantitative evaluation of a Network on Chip design flow for multi-core consumer multimedia applications

Andreas Hansson, Kees Goossens
2011 Design automation for embedded systems  
A growing number of applications are integrated on the same System on Chip in the form of hardware and software Intellectual Property (IP). Many applications have firm or soft real-time requirements and require bounds on latency and throughput. To accommodate the growing number of application requirements, the on-chip interconnect must offer scalability on the physical, architectural and functional level. Networks on Chip (NoC) are proposed as a scalable communication architecture that is also
more » ... ble to deliver guaranteed performance. Traditionally, NoCs focus on delivering physical and architectural scalability. The functional scalability, i.e. the ability to satisfy an increasing number of increasingly demanding requirements with a constant cost/performance ratio, is often overlooked. The onus is on the interconnect design flow that translates user requirements to an interconnect instance. While mature tooling exists for many of the IPs, interconnect design flows are an active research area, with few concrete examples, and few large-scale case studies. As the main contribution of this work, we demonstrate a complete operational interconnect design flow for multiple real-time applications, and quantitatively evaluate the functional scalability on two large-scale industrial case studies. We illustrate the steps of the flow, going from requirement specification all the way to simulation of synthesised netlists in a 90 nm and 65 nm low-power standard-cell technology. We show that the interconnect and design flow offer scalability, on the physical, architectural as well as the functional level.
doi:10.1007/s10617-011-9073-7 fatcat:dp3mg6zdj5eb5hwd4dbslqhtyy