A Benchmarking Platform For Network-On-Chip (NOC) Multiprocessor System-On- Chips
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Network-on-Chip (NOC) based designs have garnered significant attention from both researchers and industry over the past several years. The analysis of these designs has focused on broad topics such as NOC component micro-architecture, fault-tolerant communication, and system memory architecture. Nonetheless, the design of lowlatency, high-bandwidth, low-power and area-efficient NOC is extremely complex due to the conflicting nature of these design objectives. Benchmarks are an indispensable tool in the design process; providing thorough measurement and fair comparison between designs in order to achieve optimal results (i.e performance, cost, quality of service). This research proposes a benchmarking platform called NoCBench for evaluating the performance of Network-on-chip. Although previous research has proposed standard guidelines to develop benchmarks for Network-on-Chip, this work moves forward and proposes a System-C based simulation platform for system-level design exploration. It will provide an initial set of synthetic benchmarks for on-chip network interconnection validation along with an initial set of standardized processing cores, NOC components, and system-wide services. The benchmarks were constructed using synthetic applications described by Task Graphs For Free (TGFF) task graphs extracted from the E3S benchmark suite. Two benchmarks were used for characterization: Consumer and Networking. They are characterized based on throughput and latency. Case studies show how they can be used to evaluate metrics beyond throughput and latency (i.e. traffic distribution). The contribution of this work is two-fold: 1) This study provides a methodology for benchmark creation and characterization using NoCBench that evaluates important metrics in NOC design (i.e. end-to-end packet delay, throughput). 2) The developed full-system simulation platform provides a complete environment for further benchmark characterization on NOC based MpSoC as well as system-level design space exploration.