Skip-links: A Dynamically Reconfiguring Topology for Energy Efficient NoCs

Chris Jackson and Simon J. Hollis

Department of Computer Science, University of Bristol, UK


We introduce Skip-links, an architecture that supports dynamic topology reconfiguration in order to reduce the overall switching activity in many-core Networks-On-Chip (NoCs). The proposed architecture allows the creation of long-range links at runtime, so that the logical distance between frequently communicating nodes can be reduced. This architecture offers a number of advantages over existing methods of creating optimised topologies already present in the literature such as Reconfigurable NoC (ReNoC) and static long-range link insertion. This architecture monitors traffic behaviour and optimises the mesh topology without prior analysis of communications behaviour and is thus applicable to all applications. Our technique does not utilise a master node, each router acts independently. The architecture is thus scalable to large networks. We evaluate the performance of our architecture using a cycle-accurate simulation using synthetic traffic patterns and compare the results to a standard Mesh architecture. Hop count and energy reductions of around 10% are found.