High-Throughput Partially Parallel Inter-Chip Link Architecture for Asynchronous Multi-Chip NoCs

Naoya ONIZAWA  Akira MOCHIZUKI  Hirokatsu SHIRAHAMA  Masashi IMAI  Tomohiro YONEDA  Takahiro HANYU  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E97-D   No.6   pp.1546-1556
Publication Date: 2014/06/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E97.D.1546
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Dependable Computing
Asynchronous circuits,  Network-on-Chip (NoC),  burst-mode data transmission,  level-encoded dual-rail (LEDR) encoding,  error detection,  data retransmission,  

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This paper introduces a partially parallel inter-chip link architecture for asynchronous multi-chip Network-on-Chips (NoCs). The multi-chip NoCs that operate as a large NoC have been recently proposed for very large systems, such as automotive applications. Inter-chip links are key elements to realize high-performance multi-chip NoCs using a limited number of I/Os. The proposed asynchronous link based on level-encoded dual-rail (LEDR) encoding transmits several bits in parallel that are received by detecting the phase information of the LEDR signals at each serial link. It employs a burst-mode data transmission that eliminates a per-bit handshake for a high-speed operation, but the elimination may cause data-transmission errors due to cross-talk and power-supply noises. For triggering data retransmission, errors are detected from the embedded phase information; error-detection codes are not used. The throughput is theoretically modelled and is optimized by considering the bit-error rate (BER) of the link. Using delay parameters estimated for a 0.13 µm CMOS technology, the throughput of 8.82 Gbps is achieved by using 10 I/Os, which is 90.5% higher than that of a link using 9 I/Os without an error-detection method operating under negligible low BER (<10-20).