2nd Internationa ICST Conference on Nano-Networks

Research Article

Asynchronous Links for Nanonets

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  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.4108/ICST.NANONET2007.2261,
        author={Alex Yakovlev},
        title={Asynchronous Links for Nanonets},
        proceedings={2nd Internationa ICST Conference on Nano-Networks},
        keywords={Networks-on-Chip (NoC) Architectures and Systems for Nano-Networks},
  • Alex Yakovlev
    Year: 2010
    Asynchronous Links for Nanonets
    DOI: 10.4108/ICST.NANONET2007.2261
Alex Yakovlev1,*
  • 1: School of EECE, Newcastle University, UK
*Contact email: alex.yakovlev@ncl.ac.uk


Nanometer technology facilitates integration of massive functionalities on a single chip, allowing designers to build multi-processor systems-on-chip. According to industrial estimates, at a very deep submicron level "total interconnect length can reach several meters, with interconnect delay as much as 90% of total path delay, and parasitics from interconnect becoming a dominant factor, which often causes timing issue in chip design" (from J. Lin's Tutorial at ISSS 2003). There is a gradual realization that inter-block communication interfaces and links are becoming the first victims in the current standard system design methodology, which is based on global clocking. Clock skew becomes a problem for long interconnects, which limits the operating frequency in the channel. Thus maintaining high bandwidth under fully synchronous mode appears to be possible only by increasing the number of wires, wire width and inter-wire spacing (to reduce crosstalk), which is unrealistic because the metal layer area is at a premium on billion transistor chips. Globally clocked interconnect also suffers from the increased power and EMC problems. All this leads to thinking that future links are going to be increasingly self-timed. ITRS'05 predicts 4x increase in global asynchronous signalling by 2012 (8x by 2020).