Institute for Communication Technologies and Embedded Systems

Ratatoskr: An Open-Source Framework for In-Depth Power, Performance, and Area Analysis and Optimization in 3D NoCs

Authors:
Joseph, J. M. ,  Bamberg, L. ,  Hajjar, I. ,  Perjikolaei, B. ,  García-Ortiz, A. ,  Pionteck, T.
Journal:
ACM Trans. Model. Comput. Simul.
Volume:
32
Publisher:
Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA
Page(s):
21
Date:
Sep. 2021
ISSN:
1049-3301
DOI:
10.1145/3472754
Language:
English
Abstract:
We introduce Ratatoskr, an open-source framework for in-depth power, performance, and area (PPA) analysis in Networks-on-Chips (NoCs) for 3D-integrated and heterogeneous System-on-Chips (SoCs). It covers all layers of abstraction by providing an NoC hardware implementation on Register Transfer Level (RTL), an NoC simulator on cycle-accurate level and an application model on transaction level. By this comprehensive approach, Ratatoskr can provide the following specific PPA analyses: Dynamic power of links can be measured within 2.4% accuracy of bit-level simulations while maintaining cycle-accurate simulation speed. Router power is determined from RTL-to-gate-level synthesis combined with cycle-accurate simulations. The performance of the whole NoC can be measured both via cycle-accurate and RTL simulations. The performance (i.e., timing) of individual routers and the NoC area are obtained from RTL synthesis results. Despite these manifold features, Ratatoskr offers easy two-step user interaction: (1) A single point-of-entry allows setting design parameters. (2) PPA reports are generated automatically. For both the input and the output, different levels of abstraction can be chosen for high-level rapid network analysis or low-level improvement of architectural details. The synthesizable NoC-RTL model shows improved total router power and area in comparison to a conventional standard router. As a forward-thinking and unique feature not found in other NoC PPA-measurement tools, Ratatoskr supports heterogeneous 3D integration that is one of the most promising integration paradigms for upcoming SoCs. Thereby, Ratatoskr lays the groundwork to design their communication architectures.
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