On the Effectiveness of Source Throttling for Networks-on-Chip in Chip Multiprocessor Designs



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In modern chip-multiprocessor (CMP) designs, with the increasing number of cores, traffic between different cores keeps increasing. Consequently, on-chip interconnection networks experience increasingly large communication bandwidth demand. This thesis focuses on Quality-of-Service (QoS) of Networks-on-Chip (NoC). NoC is considered as a scalable approach of interconnection network compared to conventional bus-based architecture. Like Ethernet, NoC faces common QoS issues such as bandwidth utilization and fairness. This thesis is a study on the effectiveness of source throttling for NoC, including fairness and overall performance such as program run time and packet latency. Source throttling is a well-known technique for traffic regulation. It is shown to be effective for bufferless NoC in previous studies. Due to different traffic behaviors and characteristics, however, it is not obvious if source throttling is effective for general buffered NoC. The first part of this research is a set of network simulations on various synthetic traffic cases. The results indicate that source throttling can reduce application runtime when (1) the network is congested, (2) there are dependencies among communication requests, and (3) the width of the dependence graph must be sufficiently large. The second part is full system simulations on public benchmark suites. Source throttling does not bring benefit for these relative realistic cases. Further experiment reveals that the aforementioned conditions are not satisfied. This explains why source throttling is of little use for general buffered NoC in CMP designs.