On-chip Network Interfaces supporting automatic burst write creation, posted writes and read prefetch

Radu Stefan1,  Jason de Windt1,  Kees Goossens2
1TU Delft, 2TU Eindhoven


Abstract

Networks-on-Chip are seen as a scalable solution for facilitating the development of Systems-on-Chip with an increasing number of IP cores. Many studies already address the implementation details of such networks and a large effort has been invested in optimizing the routing strategy and the organization of the network, however by comparison the interface between the network and the IPs has been largely ignored. In this study, we explore optimizations that can be performed at the layer that connects the IPs to the services offered by the NoC. In our FPGA prototype, a MicroBlaze soft-core is connected to a remote memory via the AEthereal NoC. By employing our optimizations to the interface between the MicroBlaze and the NoC, we demonstrate an improvement in terms of speed above 880% in memory intensive tests and of up to 12% in real life applications with little use of communication.