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Design, Parallel Simulation and Implementation of High-Performance Fault-Tolerant Network-on-Chip Architectures

Abstract : Networks-on-Chip (NoCs) have proven to be a fast and scalable replacement for buses in current and emerging many-core systems. They are today an actively researched topic and various solutions are being explored to meet the needs of emerging applications in terms of performance, quality of service, power consumption, and fault-tolerance. This thesis presents contributions in two important areas of Network-on-Chip research:- The design of ultra-flexible high-performance deadlock-free routing algorithms for any topology.- The design and implementation of parallel cycle-accurate Network-on-Chip simulators for a fast evaluation of new NoC architectures.While aggressive technology scaling has its benefits in terms of delay, area and power, it is also known to increase the vulnerability of circuits, suggesting the need for fault-tolerant designs. Fault-tolerance in NoCs is directly tied to the degree of flexibility of the routing algorithm. High routing flexibility is also required in some irregular topologies, as is the case for TSV-based 3D Network-on-Chips, wherein only a subset of the routers are connected using vertical connections. Unfortunately, routing freedom is often limited by the deadlock-avoidance method, which statically restricts the set of virtual channels that can be acquired by each packet.The first part of this thesis tackles this issue at the source and introduces a new topology-agnostic methodology for designing ultra-flexible routing algorithms for Networks-on-Chips. The theory relies on a novel low-restrictive sufficient condition of deadlock-freedom that is expressed using the local information available at each router during runtime, making it possible to verify the condition dynamically in a distributed manner.A significant gain in both performance and fault-tolerance when using our methodology compared to the existing static channel partitioning methods is reported. Moreover, hardware synthesis results show that the newly introduced mechanisms have a negligible impact on the overall router area.In the second part, a novel routing algorithm for vertically-partially-connected 3D Networks-on-Chips called First-Last is constructed using the previously presented methodology.Thanks to a unique distribution of virtual channels, our algorithm is the only one capable of guaranteeing full connectivity in the presence of one TSV pillar in an arbitrary position, while requiring a low number of extra buffers (1 extra VC in the East and North directions). This makes First-Last a highly appealing cost-effective alternative to the state-of-the-art Elevator-First algorithm.Finally, the third and last part of this work presents the first detailed and modular parallel NoC simulator design targeting Graphics Processing Units (GPUs). First, a flexible task decomposition approach, specifically geared towards high parallelization is proposed. Our approach makes it easy to adapt the granularity of parallelism to match the capabilities of the host GPU. Second, all the GPU-specific implementation issues are addressed and several optimizations are proposed. Our design is evaluated through a reference implementation, which is tested on an NVidia GTX980Ti graphics card and shown to speed up 4K-node NoC simulations by almost 280x.
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Mohamed El Amir Charif. Design, Parallel Simulation and Implementation of High-Performance Fault-Tolerant Network-on-Chip Architectures. Micro and nanotechnologies/Microelectronics. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAT075⟩. ⟨tel-01743726⟩

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