Arteris Articles

SemiWiki: Interconnect Basics: Wires to Crossbar to NoC

Kurt Shuler shares with Bernard Murphy an introduction to interconnect topologies, a useful primer to anyone who thinks of interconnect as “just wires” in this new SemiWiki blog:

Interconnect Basics: Wires to Crossbars to NoC

August 21, 2020 - By Bernard Murphy

To many of us, if we ever think about interconnect on an SoC, we may think delay, power consumption, congestion, that sort of thing. All important points from an implementation point of view, but what about the functional and system implications? In the early days, interconnect was very democratic, all wires more or less equal, connecting X to Y wherever needed. If you had a data bus, you’d route that more carefully to ensure roughly equal delays for each bit, which works pretty well when you don’t have a lot of on-chip functions. But there’s more to it than that. This blog is a quick introduction to interconnect basics.

Topics: SoC network-on-chip crossbar semiconductor Ncore FlexNoC networks AI semiwiki kurt shuler noc interconnect NoC layer

The SoC Interconnect Fabric: A Brief History

The high functional integration of system-on-chip designs today is driving the need for new technological approaches in semiconductor design. Anyone who owns a Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One or comparable smartphone can see the benefits of integrating onto one chip all the computing functions that were traditionally separate, discrete chips on a PC computer motherboard. For next-generation devices, developers are driving even greater computing power, higher resolution graphics, and improved media processing into the integrated SoCs that enable these systems. This high level of integration is causing on-chip communications and transaction handling to become a system constraint within the SoC, limiting the achievable performance of SoCs no matter how optimized the individual CPU, GPU and other IP blocks.

Topics: NoC network-on-chip bus crossbar history