Circuit design of Clos-based on-chip interconnection networks

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Single-hop non-blocking networks have the advantage of providing uniform latency and throughput, which is important for cache-coherent network-on-chip systems. This paper focuses on high performance circuit designs of multi-stage non-blocking networks as alternatives to crossbars. Existing work shows that Benes networks have much lower transistor count and smaller circuit area but longer delay than crossbars. To reduce the timing delay, we propose to design the Clos network built with larger size switches. Using less than half number of stages than the Benes network, the Clos network with 4 × 4 switches can significantly reduce the timing delay. The circuit designs of both Benes and Clos networks in different sizes are conducted considering two types of implementation of the configurable switch: with N-type metal-oxide-semiconductor logic (NMOS) transistors only and full transmission gates (TGs). The layout and simulation results under 45 nm technology show that the TG-based implementation demonstrates much better signal integrity than its counterpart. Clos networks achieve average 60% lower timing delay than Benes networks with even smaller area and power consumption

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