NoC Synthesis Flow for Customized Domain Specific Mutliprocessor Systems-on-Chip
The growing complexity of customizable single-chip multiprocessors is requiring communication resources that can only be provided by a highly-scalable communication infrastructure. This trend is exemplified by the growing number of network-on-chip (NoC) architectures that have been proposed recently for system-on-chip (SoC) integration. Developing NoC-based systems tailored to a particular application domain is crucial for achieving high-performance, energy-efficient customized solutions. The effectiveness of this approach largely depends on the availability of an ad hoc design methodology that, starting from a high-level application specification, derives an optimized NoC configuration with respect to different design objectives and instantiates the selected application specific on-chip micronetwork. Automatic execution of these design steps is highly desirable to increase SoC design productivity. This work illustrates a complete synthesis flow, called Netchip, for customized NoC architectures, that partitions the development work into major steps (topology mapping, selection, and generation) and provides proper tools for their automatic execution (SUNMAP, xpipescompiler). The entire flow leverages the flexibility of a fully reusable and scalable network components library called xpipes, consisting of highly-parameterizable network building blocks (network interface, switches, switch-to-switch links) that are design-time tunable and composable to achieve arbitrary topologies and customized domain-specific NoC architectures. Several experimental case studies are presented In the work, showing the powerful design space exploration capabilities of the proposed methodology and tools.