Publication: Bridging the F requency Gap in Heterogeneous 3D SoCs through Technology-Specific NoC Router Architectures 

Joseph, J. M. ,  Bamberg, L. ,  Geonhwa, J. ,  Chien, R.-T. ,  Leupers, R. ,  García-Ortiz, A. ,  Krishna, T. ,  Pionteck, T.
Book Title:
Proceedings of the Asia South Pacific Design Automation Conference (ASP-DAC)
accepted for publication


In heterogeneous 3D System-on-Chips (SoCs), NoCs with uniform properties suffer one major limitation; the clock frequency of routers varies due to different manufacturing technologies. For example, digital nodes allow for a higher clock frequency of routers than mixed-signal nodes. This large frequency gap is commonly tackled by complex and expensive pseudo-mesochronous or asynchronous router architectures. Here, a more efficient approach is chosen to bridge the frequency gap. We propose to use a heterogeneous network architecture. We show that reducing the number of VCs allows to bridge a frequency gap of up to 2×. We achieve a system-level latency improvement of up to 47% for uniform random traffic and up to 59% for PARSEC benchmarks, a maximum throughput increase of 50%, up to 68% reduced area and 38% reduced power in an exemplary setting combining 15-nm digital and 30-nm mixed-signal nodes and comparing against a homogeneous synchronous network architecture. Versus asynchronous and pseudo-mesochronous router architectures, the proposed optimization consistently performs better in area, in power and the average flit latency improvement can be larger than 51%.