ECE Department Calendar
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH
ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT
DISSERTATION DEFENSE FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
Advisor: Ken Stevens
Techniques for fast, energy efficient on-die global communication
Communication surpasses computation as the power and performance bottleneck in forthcoming exascale processors. Scaling has made transistors cheap, but on chip wires have grown more expensive, both in terms of latency as well as energy. Therefore, the need for low energy, high performance interconnects is highly pronounced, especially for long distance communication.
In this work, we examine two aspects of the global signaling problem. The first part of the thesis focuses on a high bandwidth asynchronous signaling protocol for long distance communication. Asynchrony among IP cores on a chip has become necessary in a System on Chip (SoC) environment. Traditional asynchronous handshaking protocol suffers from loss of throughput due to the added latency of sending the acknowledge signal back to the sender. We demonstrate a method that supports end-to-end communication across links with arbitrarily large latency, without limiting the bandwidth, so long as line variation can be reliably controlled. We also evaluate the energy and latency improvements as a result of the design choices made available by this protocol.
The use of transmission lines as a physical interconnect medium shows promise for deep submicron technologies. In our evaluations, we notice a lower energy footprint, as well as vastly reduced wire latency for transmission line interconnects. We approach this problem from two sides. Using field solvers, we investigate the physical design choices to determine the optimal way to implement these lines for a given back-end-of-line (BEOL) stack. We also approach the problem from a system designer’s viewpoint, looking at ways to optimize the lines for different performance targets. This work analyzes the advantages and pitfalls of implementing asynchronous channel protocols for communication over long distances. Finally, the innovations resulting from this work are applied to a network-on-chip design example and the resulting power-performance benefits are reported.
Friday July 10, 2015
Warnock Engineering Building (WEB) Room 1450
The public is invited