A. Ejaz and I. Sourdis, “FastTrackNoC: A NoC with FastTrack Router Datapaths,” 2022 IEEE International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA), Seoul, Korea, Republic of, 2022, pp. 971-985, doi: 10.1109/HPCA53966.2022.00075.

This paper introduces FastTrackNoC, a Network-on-Chip (NoC) router architecture that reduces packet latency by bypassing its switch traversal (ST) stage. It is based on the observation that there is a bias in the direction a flit takes through a router, e.g., in a 2D mesh network, non-turning hops are preferred, especially when dimension order routing is used. FastTrackNoC capitalizes on this observation and adds to a 2D mesh router a fast-track path between the head of a single input virtual channel (VC) buffer and its most popular, opposite output. This allows non-turning flits to bypass ST logic, i.e., buffer-, input-and output multiplexing, when the required router resources are available. FastTrackNoC combines ST bypassing with existing techniques for reducing latency, namely, allocation bypassing, precomputed routing, and lookahead control signaling to allow at best incoming flits to proceed directly to link traversal (LT). Moreover, it is applied to a Dual Data Rate (DDR) router in order to maximize network throughput. Post place and route results in 28nm show the following: compared to previous DDR NoCs, FastTrackNoC offers 13-32% lower average packet latency; compared to previous multi-VC Single Data Rate (SDR) NoCs, FastTrackNoC reduces latency by 10-40% and achieves 18-21% higher throughput, and compared to single-channel SDR NoC offers up to 50% higher throughput and similar latency.

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