High Performance On-Chip Interconnects Design for Future Many-Core Architectures
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Switch-based Network-on-Chip (NoC) is a widely accepted inter-core communication infrastructure for Chip Multiprocessors (CMPs). With the continued advance of CMOS technology, the number of cores on a single chip keeps increasing at a rapid pace. It is highly expected that many-core architectures with more than hundreds of processor cores will be commercialized in the near future. In such a large scale CMP system, NoC overheads are more dominant than computation power in determining overall system performance. Also, for modern computational workloads requiring abundant thread level parallelism (TLP), NoC design for highly-parallel, many-core accelerators such as General Purpose Graphics Processing Units (GPGPUs) is of primary importance in harnessing the potential of massive thread- and data-level parallelism. In these contexts, it is critical that NoC provides both low latency and high bandwidth within limited on-chip power and area budgets. In this dissertation, we explore various design issues inherent in future many-core architectures, CMPs and GPGPUs, to achieve both high performance and power efficiency. First, we deal with issues in using a promising next generation memory technology, Spin-Transfer Torque Magnetic RAM (STT-MRAM), for NoC input buffers in CMPs. Using a high density and low leakage memory offers more buffer capacities with the same die footprint, thus helping increase network throughput in NoC routers. However, its long latency and high power consumption in write operations still need to be addressed. Thus, we propose a hybrid design of input buffers using both SRAM and STT-MRAM to hide the long write latency efficiently. Considering that simple data migration in the hybrid buffer consumes more dynamic power compared to SRAM, we provide a lazy migration scheme that reduces the dynamic power consumption of the hybrid buffer. Second, we propose the first NoC router design that uses only STT-MRAM, providing much larger buffer space with less power consumption, while preserving data integrity. To hide the multicycle writes, we employ a multibank STT-MRAM buffer, a virtual channel with multiple banks where every incoming flit is seamlessly pipelined to each bank alternately. Our STT-MRAM design has aggressively reduced the retention time, resulting in a significant reduction in the latency and power overheads of write operations. To ensure data integrity against inadvertent bit flips from the thermal fluctuation during the given retention time, we propose a cost-efficient dynamic buffer refresh scheme combined with Error Correcting Codes (ECC) to detect and correct data corruption. Third, we present schemes for bandwidth-efficient on-chip interconnects in GPGPUs. GPGPUs place a heavy demand on the on-chip interconnect between the many cores and a few memory controllers (MCs). Thus, traffic is highly asymmetric, impacting on-chip resource utilization and system performance. Here, we analyze the communication demands of typical GPGPU applications, and propose efficient NoC designs to meet those demands.
Jang, Hyunjun (2015). High Performance On-Chip Interconnects Design for Future Many-Core Architectures. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from