Date of Graduation

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MS

College

Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Department

Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Committee Chair

Gyungsu Byun

Committee Co-Chair

David W Graham

Committee Member

Afzel Noore

Abstract

The scaling of CMOS feature sizes has yielded the capability of integrating heterogeneous intellectual properties (IPs) like graphics processing units (GPUs), digital signal processors (DSPs) and central processing units (CPUs) on a single die. The collection of multiple IPs on a single die presents a problem of reliable communication due to congestion. The infrastructure that facilitates and manages communication among IPs is referred to as a network-on-chip (NoC). Its ultimate goal should be low latency with negligible power and area consumption. Unfortunately, as CMOS feature sizes have been scaling smaller, this has exacerbated latency and signal degradation due to increasing on-chip channel resistance. Furthermore, contemporary interfaces use baseband-only signaling and have critical limitations like exponential energy consumption, limited bandwidth and non-reconfigurable data access.;In this work, we propose an energy efficient tri-band (baseband + 2 RF bands) signaling interface that is capable of simultaneous bi-directional communication and reconfigurable data access. Additionally, communication is accomplished through a shared transmission line which reduces the overall number of global interconnections. As a result, this reduces area consumption and mitigates interconnection complexity. The primary signicance of this interconnect configuration compared to contemporary designs is an increase of bandwidth and energy efficiency.;The interconnect design is composed of a baseband transceiver and two RF (10Ghz and 20GHz) transceivers. The RF transceivers utilize amplitude-shift keying (ASK) modulation scheme. ASK modulation allows ease of circuit design, but most importantly it can be used for noncoherent communication, which we implemented in this system. Noncoherent ASK modulation is area conservative and power efficient since there is no longer a need for power-hungry frequency synthesizers. Moreover, noncoherent ASK demodulation accomplishes direct-down conversation through a passive self-mixer for additional power savings.;The results from our work show that a multi-band interconnect is a suitable remedy for future NoC communication that has been reaching its bandwidth limitation with baseband-only signaling. In conclusion, this work demonstrates a sustainable balance of energy efficiency and increased bandwidth for future on-chip interconnect designs.

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