Dynamic Reconfigurable Network-on-Chip Design: Innovations for Computational Processing and Communication

Dynamic Reconfigurable Network-on-Chip Design: Innovations for Computational Processing and Communication

Jih-Sheng Shen (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan) and Pao-Ann Hsiung (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan)
Indexed In: SCOPUS
Release Date: June, 2010|Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 384
ISBN13: 9781615208074|ISBN10: 1615208070|EISBN13: 9781615208081|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-807-4


Reconfigurable computing brings immense flexibility to on-chip processing while network-on-chip has improved flexibility in on-chip communication. Integrating these two areas of research reaps the benefits of both and represents the promising future of multiprocessor systems-on-chip.

Dynamic Reconfigurable Network-on-Chip Design: Innovations for Computational Processing and Communication is the one of the first compilations written to demonstrate this future for network -on-chip design. Through dynamic and creative research into questions ranging from integrating reconfigurable computing techniques, to task assigning, scheduling and arrival, to designing an operating system to take advantage of the computing and communication flexibilities brought about by run-time reconfiguration and network-on-chip, this book represents a complete source of the techniques and applications for reconfigurable network-on-chip necessary for understanding of future of this field.

Topics Covered

The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Administration of Reconfigurable NoCs
  • Leveraging reconfiguration techniques
  • Low-power network-on-chip
  • Network-on-chip design flow
  • NoC-based Infrastructures
  • Operating system design
  • Programming models for the processing elements
  • Reconfigurable computing techniques
  • Reconfiguring the Network-on-Chip processing elements
  • Task scheduling

Reviews and Testimonials

Leading researchers present cutting-edge solutions meeting a variety of unique challenges for multicore embedded software like real time, security, safety, reliability, swap, energy efficiency, area consumption and heterogeneity.

– Reiner Hartenstein, TU Kaiserslautern, Germany

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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This is a first book on the topic of reconfigurable network-on-chip, which is a culmination of growing trends in the two hot research areas, namely reconfigurable computing and network-on-chip. While reconfigurable computing has brought immense flexibility in on-chip processing, network-on-chip has brought similar flexibility in on-chip communication. The integration of these two areas of research will reap the benefits of both and is a promising future design paradigm for multiprocessor systems-on-chip.

Design issues related to reconfigurable network-on-chip are numerous, some of which include the following. How reconfigurable computing techniques are to be integrated into the network-on-chip design flow? How must one reconfigure the processing elements attached to a network-on-chip? How must one design a reconfigurable router? How must a set of given tasks be assigned to the processing elements? How must one schedule the arrival of tasks or the configuration of processing elements in a network-on-chip? How can one leverage reconfiguration techniques to avoid crosstalk interferences in a network-on-chip? How can one design low-power network-on-chip using reconfiguration techniques? How can one design a programming model for the processing elements attached to a network-on-chip? How can an operating system be designed to take advantage of the computing and communication flexibilities brought about by run-time reconfiguration and network-on-chip? The above list is just a partial one and from this one can guess the importance of a book like this. This is the single reference, where most of the above issues will be discussed and elaborated on.

Since most of the above design issues are still in the research and development stage. This book presents the state-of-the-art techniques that can handle the integration of reconfiguration and network-on-chip. Besides a description of the techniques, the book also describes specific application domains where the techniques have actually been applied with success. Thus, the book can be seen as a collection of techniques and applications for reconfigurable network-on-chip.

The book can be used by students, researchers, and engineers. Students interested in reconfigurable system design, network-on-chip, system-on-chip, multiprocessor design, router design, parallel computing should be interested in this book because it can provide reference materials to study all the mentioned topics. This book is recommended for researchers interested in solving the design issues related to network-on-chip and reconfigurable systems. Last but not the least, engineers will find a wealth of techniques and applications in this book related to network-on-chip and reconfigurable system design.

The book is basically divided into five parts as follows:

Part 1: Introduction to Reconfigurable Network-on-Chip This part introduces reconfigurable network-on-chip from the design perspective, including a summary of all the issues and possible solutions. It also discusses the design of reconfigurable routers and network interfaces. This part has four chapters.

The chapter titled: “A NoC-based Infrastructure to Enable Dynamic Self Reconfigurable Systems” by Möller, Grehs, Carvalho, Soares, Calazans, and Moraes from Brazil describes how a reconfigurable NoC architecture is designed and two proof-of-concept examples illustrate the proposed architecture. The design consists of both hardware and software parts.

The chapter titled: “Dynamically Reconfigurable Networks-on-Chip using Runtime Adaptive Routers” by Véstias and Neto from Portugal describes how reconfigurable routers may be designed for reconfigurable NoCs. Static and runtime adaptive routers are compared and it is shown that runtime adaptive routers are essential for today’s complex system-on-chip designs.

The chapter titled: “Keys for Administration of Reconfigurable NoC Self-Adaptive Network Interface Case Study” by Dafali and Diguet from France describes the relation between reconfigurable NoC and the OSI network layers. Further, dynamic reconfiguration administration, network infrastructure reconfiguration and network protocol reconfiguration are all discussed. A self-adaptive network interface architecture is also proposed.

The chapter titled: “An Efficient Hardware/Software Communication Mechanism for Reconfigurable NoC” by Lin, Shen, and Hsiung from Taiwan proposes three communication architectures for interconnecting an NoC with a microprocessor bus-based conventional architecture. It is shown that the shared memory approach is a good tradeoff between performance and memory space consumption.

Part 2: Design Methods for Reconfigurable NoC Design

This part is mainly about modeling and design methods for reconfigurable NoC. This part consists of three chapters. The chapter titled: “Design Methodologies and Mapping Algorithms for Reconfigurable NoC-based Systems” by Rana, Santambrogio, and Meroni from Italy discusses a tile-based approach to reconfigurable NoC architecture design. Existing architectures are leveraged for the development of reconfigurable NoC architecture.

The chapter titled: “From MARTE to Reconfigurable NoCs: A model driven design methodology” by Quadri, Elhaji, Meftali, and Dekeyser from France describes the adaptation of MARTE, an OMG standard for real-time and embedded systems, to complex NoC-connected partially dynamically reconfigurable systems. The chapter titled: “Dynamic Reconfigurable NoCs: Characteristics and Performance Issues” by Rana, Santambrogio, and Corbetta from Italy describes the design and implementation issues for reconfigurable NoC such as the placement of bus macros for connecting static and reconfigurable parts of the NoC. A layered approach is also presented for solving switching, routing, and communication protocol design issues.

Part 3: High-Level Programming of Reconfigurable NoC-based SoCs

This part discusses how NoC-based system-on-chip is to be programmed. This part contains only one chapter.

The chapter titled: “High-Level Programming of Dynamically Reconfigurable NoC-Based Heterogeneous Multicore SoCs” by Vanderbauwhede from UK describes Gannet, a programming model and framework which makes software and hardware integration easier. The inherent parallelism and dynamic reconfigurability can be fully utilized by a user programming with Gannet.

Part 4: Simulation Framework for Fast Reconfigurable NoC Emulation

This part is mainly about how NoC can be emulated. This part consists of only one chapter.

The chapter titled: “Dynamic Reconfigurable NoC (DRNoC) Architecture. Application to Fast NoC Emulation” by Krasteva, de la Torre, and Riesgo from Spain describes an emulation method for exploring the different communication design alternatives corresponding to adapting routers, network interfaces, and processing cores.

Part 5: State-of-the-art Reconfigurable NoC Designs

This part consists of four examples on different reconfigurable NoCs. Some of them focus on power reduction, some on crosstalk reduction, and yet another on how topology is adapted.

The chapter titled: “Dynamically Reconfigurable NoC for Future Heterogeneous Multi-core Architectures” by Ahmad, Ahmadinia, Arslan from UK describes how hardware reconfigurability can be exploited in terms of switching, routing, and packet size. A new architecture for reconfigurable NoC is proposed and evaluated against fixed NoCs.

The chapter titled: “Reliability Aware Performance and Power Optimization in DVFS-based On-chip Networks” by Yanamandra, Eachempati, Narayanan, and Irwin from USA proposes a dynamically reconfigurable data protection scheme in NoC, while minimizing power and performance overheads. This is an increasingly important topic due to the variations in chip fabrication brought about by deep-submicron technologies. NoC being a data communication mechanism must support such protection schemes. Reconfigurability further enhances this protection scheme by providing both flexibility and cost reduction.

The chapter titled: “SpaceWire inspired Network-on-Chip approach for fault tolerant System-on-Chip designs” by Osterloh, Michalik, and Fiethe from Germany proposes a specialized NoC architecture that can withstand the disruption effects of radiation induced particles in space. This is a very interesting application domain in which dynamically reconfigurable NoC technology brings all the advantages that were unforeseen before in this area. High reliability is a critical issue in this domain and reconfigurable NoC can be leveraged to achieve this.

The chapter titled: “A High-Performance and Low-Power On-Chip Network with Reconfigurable Topology” by Modarressi and Sarbazi-Azad from Iran proposes an NoC with reconfigurable topology such that it can be configured dynamically to fit the traffic pattern requirements of a set of applications. Experiments demonstrate the performance improvement and power reduction brought about by such an adaptation scheme between topology and traffic pattern.

This book is a collective effort by a group of expert representatives in the area of reconfigurable network-on-chip design. We believe that the technologies, issues, and solutions presented in this book will be of immense help to researchers and engineers in various fields of application such as real-time embedded systems, system-on-chip, multimedia, and networking.

The integration of reconfigurable computing techniques and network-on-chip communication infrastructure is inevitable. This book provides a basic reference for such an integration. Though there are still lots of research issues to be solved in this integration, we are already at a stage where we need more convergence on how our technologies have affected this well-known communication structure.

Author(s)/Editor(s) Biography

Jih-Sheng Shen received his B.S. and his M.S. in Computer Science and Information Engineering from the I-Shou University and the National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan, ROC, in 2003 and 2004, respectively. His M.S. thesis was on the design and implementation of on-chip crossroad communication architectures for low power embedded systems. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering at the National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan, ROC. His research interests include the theories and the architectures of reconfigurable systems, machine learning strategies, Network-on-Chip (NoC) designs, encoding methods for minimizing crosstalk interferences and dynamic power consumption.
Pao-Ann Hsiung Ph.D., received his B.S. in Mathematics and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC, in 1991 and 1996, respectively. From 1996 to 2000, he was a post-doctoral researcher at the Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC. From February 2001 to July 2002, he was an assistant professor and from August 2002 to July 2007 he was an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Chung Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan, ROC. Since August 2007, he has been a full professor. Dr. Hsiung was the recipient of the 2001 ACM Taipei Chapter Kuo-Ting Li Young Researcher for his significant contributions to design automation of electronic systems. Dr. Hsiung was also a recipient of the 2004 Young Scholar Research Award given by National Chung Cheng University to five young faculty members per year. Dr. Hsiung is a senior member of the IEEE, a senior member of the ACM, and a life member of the IICM. He has been included in several professional listings such as Marquis' Who's Who in the World, Marquis' Who's Who in Asia, Outstanding People of the 20th Century by International Biographical Centre, Cambridge, England, Rifacimento International's Admirable Asian Achievers (2006), Afro/Asian Who's Who, and Asia/Pacific Who's Who. Dr. Hsiung is an editorial board member of the International Journal of Embedded Systems (IJES), Inderscience Publishers, USA; the International Journal of Multimedia and Ubiquitous Engineering (IJMUE), Science and Engineering Research Center (SERSC), USA; an associate editor of the Journal of Software Engineering (JSE), Academic Journals, Inc., USA; an editorial board member of the Open Software Engineering Journal (OSE), Bentham Science Publishers, Ltd., USA; an international editorial board member of the International Journal of Patterns (IJOP). Dr. Hsiung has been on the program committee of more than 50 international conferences. He served as session organizer and chair for PDPTA'99, and as workshop organizer and chair for RTC'99, DSVV'2000, and PDES'2005. He has published more than 170 papers in international journals and conferences. He has taken an active part in paper refereeing for international journals and conferences. His main research interests include reconfigurable computing and system design, multi-core programming, cognitive radio architecture, System-on-Chip (SoC) design and verification, embedded software synthesis and verification, real-time system design and verification, hardware-software codesign and coverification, and component-based object-oriented application frameworks for real-time embedded systems.