Data integrity for on-chip interconnects
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With shrinking feature size and growing integration density in the Deep Sub- Micron (DSM) technologies, the global buses are fast becoming the "weakest-links" in VLSI design. They have large delays and are error-prone. Especially, in system-onchip (SoC) designs, where parallel interconnects run over large distances, they pose difficult research and design problems. This work presents an approach for evaluating the data carrying capacity of such wires. The method treats the delay and reliability in interconnects from an information theoretic perspective. The results point to an optimal frequency of operation for a given bus dimension for maximum data transfer rate. Moreover, this optimal frequency is higher than that achieved by present day designs which accommodate the worst case delays. This work also proposes several novel ways to approach this optimal data transfer rate in practical designs.From the analysis of signal propagation delay in long wires, it is seen that the signal delay distribution has a long tail, meaning that most signals arrive at the output much faster than the worst case delay. Using communication theory, these "good" signals arriving early can be used to predict/correct the "few" signals that arrive late. In addition to this correction based on prediction, the approaches use coding techniques to eliminate high delay cases to generate a higher transmission rate. The work also extends communication theoretic approaches to other areas of VLSI design. Parity groups are generated based on low output delay correlation to add redundancy in combinatorial circuits. This redundancy is used to increase the frequency of operation and/or reduce the energy consumption while improving the overall reliability of the circuit.
Singhal, Rohit (2003). Data integrity for on-chip interconnects. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from