Opoku Agyeman, M., Vien, Q.-T., Ahmadinia, A., Yakovlev, A., Tong, K.-F. and Mak, T. (2016) A resilient 2-D waveguide communication fabric for hybrid wired-wireless NoC design. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. 1045-9219. DOI 10.1109/TPDS.2016.2575836
Hybrid wired-wireless Network-on-Chip (WiNoC) has emerged as an alternative solution to the poor scalability and performance issues of conventional wireline NoC design for future System-on-Chip (SoC). Existing feasible wireless solution for WiNoCs in the form of millimeter wave (mm-Wave) relies on free space signal radiation which has high power dissipation with high degradation rate in the signal strength per transmission distance. Moreover, over the lossy wireless medium, combining wireless and wireline channels drastically reduces the total reliability of the communication fabric. Surface wave has been proposed as an alternative wireless technology for low power on-chip communication. With the right design considerations, the reliability and performance benefits of the surface wave channel could be extended. In this paper, we propose a surface wave communication fabric for emerging WiNoCs that is able to match the reliability of traditional wireline NoCs. First, we propose a realistic channel model which demonstrates that existing mm-Wave WiNoCs suffers from not only free-space spreading loss (FSSL) but also molecular absorption attenuation (MAA), especially at high frequency band, which reduces the reliability of the system. Consequently, we employ a carefully designed transducer and commercially available thin metal conductor coated with a low cost dielectric material to generate surface wave signals with improved transmission gain. Our experimental results demonstrate that the proposed communication fabric can achieve a 5dB operational bandwidth of about 60GHz around the center frequency (60GHz). By improving the transmission reliability of wireless layer, the proposed communication fabric can improve maximum sustainable load of NoCs by an average of 20.9% and 133.3% compared to existing WiNoCs and wireline NoCs, respectively.
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