An Asynchronous Network-On-Chip Router with Low Standby Power
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The Network-on-Chip (NoC) paradigm is now widely used to interconnect the processing elements (PEs) in a chip multiprocessor (CMP). It has been reported that the NoC consumes about a third of the total power consumption of the multi-core processor. To address this, asynchronous NoC routers have been proposed, to eliminate the clocking power associated with the NoC implementation, which is typically a large fraction of the NoC power consumption. In this work, we present a technique to reduce the standby power of a state-of-the-art asynchronous NoC router. In our approach, the router is put in a known input state when idle, and each gate in the unmodified router is replaced by a logically equivalent gate whose supply pin is connected to a PMOS device with a high threshold voltage in case its output in the idle state was 0. On the other hand, if the output of the unmodified gate in the idle state was 1, it is replaced by a logically equivalent gate whose ground terminal is connected to a NMOS device with a high threshold voltage. Our router is inserted in an NoC, and verified logically for correct routing functionality. We also simulated it at the circuit level using a 45nm fabrication technology, and show that it has a low wake-up time from sleep, and a minimal steady-state routing delay (13%) and area (23%) overhead, and a 8.1? lower standby power, when compared to an unmodified asynchronous NoC router, which was also implemented. Our leakage improvement is achieved in part by using a novel method to control the leakage of the inverter chain used to drive the sleep signal, something which that is not possible with traditional leakage reduction techniques.