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A Low Power NoC Router with State Retention

A Low Power NoC Router with State Retention
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This paper proposes a low power NoC router with state retention method to reduce power consumption. The area of NoC routers is dominated by buffer resource, e.g., flit buffers which tend to have large leakage current. Thus, power gating is necessary to reduce such leakage current. However, power gating incurs wake-up latency. In order to reduce the impact of wake-up latency on NoC performance, we first suggest a method called early wake-up control (EWC). Even though power gating is applied, always-on flit buffers are required to service in-coming flits. Such always-on flit buffers consume leakage current. In order to reduce the leakage current of always-on flit buffers while maintaining performance, we exploit a low power state of state retention which has both lower wake-up latency and leakage current than active mode. We developed an RTL design of NoC router and evaluated our proposed methods. Experimental results show that the proposed methods give average 60% (up to 63%) reduction in the leakage power of NoC in a 7x7 mesh architecture.
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