Volume 9 Number 3 (Mar. 2014)
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JCP 2014 Vol.9(3): 519-528 ISSN: 1796-203X
doi: 10.4304/jcp.9.3.519-528

A Parameterizable NoC Router for FPGAs

Mike Brugge, Mohammed A. S. Khalid
University of Windsor/Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Abstract—The Network-on-Chip (NoC) approach for designing (System-on-Chip) SoCs is currently used for overcoming the scalability and efficiency problems of traditional on-chip interconnection schemes, such as shared buses and point-to-point links. NoC design draws on concepts from computer networks to interconnect Intellectual Property (IP) cores in a structured and scalable way, promoting design re-use. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a parameterizable NoC router for FPGAs. The importance of low area overhead for NoC components is pivotal in FPGAs, which have limited logic and routing resources. We obtain a low area router design by applying optimizations in switching fabric and dual purpose buffer/connection signals. We utilize a store and forward flow control with input and output buffering. We proffer a component library to increase re-use and allow tailoring of parameters for application specific NoCs of various sizes. The proposed router supports the mesh architecture which is well known for its scalability and simple XY routing algorithm. We present IP-core-to-router mapping strategies for multi-local port routers that enable ample opportunity to optimize the NoC for application specific data traffic. A set of experiments were conducted to explore the design space of the proposed NoC router using different values of key router parameters: channel width (flit size), arbitration scheme and IP-core-to-router mapping strategy. Area and latency results from the experiments are presented and analyzed. These results will be useful to designers who want to implement NoC on FPGAs.

Index Terms—Network-on-Chip, NoC, System-on-chip, SoC, FPGA, VHDL, evaluation, router, arbiter, flit size, multilocal, mesh


Cite: Mike Brugge, Mohammed A. S. Khalid, "A Parameterizable NoC Router for FPGAs," Journal of Computers vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 519-528, 2014.

General Information

ISSN: 1796-203X
Abbreviated Title: J.Comput.
Frequency: Bimonthly
Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Liansheng Tan
Executive Editor: Ms. Nina Lee
Abstracting/ Indexing: DBLP, EBSCO,  ProQuest, INSPEC, ULRICH's Periodicals Directory, WorldCat,etc
E-mail: jcp@iap.org
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