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Economizing TSV Resources in 3-D Network-on-Chip Design

Economizing TSV Resources in 3-D Network-on-Chip Design The confluence of 3-D integration and network-on-chip (NoC) provides an effective solution to the scalability problem of on-chip interconnects. In 3-D integration, through-silicon via (TSV) is considered to be the most promising bonding technology. However, TSVs are also precious link resources because they consume significant chip area and possibly lead to routing congestion in the physical design stage. In addition, TSVs suffer from serious yield losses that shrink the effective TSV density. Thus, it is necessary to implement a TSV-economical 3-D NoC architecture in cost-effective design. For symmetric 3-D mesh NoCs, we observe that the TSVs bandwidth utilization is low and they rarely become the contention spots in networks as planar links. Based on this observation, we propose the TSV sharing (TS) scheme to save TSVs in 3-D NoC by enabling neighboring routers to share the vertical channels in a time division multiplexing way. We also investigate different TS implementation alternatives and show how TS improves TSV-effectiveness (TE) in multicore processors through a design space exploration. In experiments, we comprehensively evaluate TSs influence on all layers of system. It is shown that the proposed method significantly promotes TE with negligible performance overhead.

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