Reconfigurable Optical Interconnection Networks for High-Performance Embedded

University dissertation from Chalmers tekniska högskola

Abstract: In embedded computer and communication system the capacity demand for interconnection networks is increasing continuously in order to achieve high-performance systems. Recent breakthroughs show that by using reconfigurability inside a single chip substantial performance gains can be added. However, in this thesis the focus is on system level reconfigurability (between chips or modules) and the performance gains that potentially can be achieved by having support for runtime reconfigurability on the system level.This thesis addresses the field of runtime system level reconfigurability with the use of optics in switches and routers for data- and telecommunications, and in multi-processor systems used for embedded signal processing. Several reconfigurable systems for switching and routing with support to adapt for asymmetric traffic patterns are proposed and compared to identify how design choices affect flexibility, performance etc. The proposed solutions are characterized by their multistage optical interconnection networks with reconfigurable shuffle patterns, where the reconfigurability is provided by micro-optical-electrical mechanical systems. More specifically, application-specific bottlenecks can be resolved by reconfiguring the interconnection network according to the current application demands. The benefits of the architectural solutions are confirmed by simulations that clearly show that the architectures can achieve high performance for both symmetric application characteristics and for several classes of asymmetric application characteristics. The final architectural solution is characterized by electronic packet-switches interconnected through an optical backplane, which is reconfigurable. Moreover, the thesis presents how several signal processing applications can be mapped to run concurrently in a time-shared scheme on a single reconfigurable multi-processor system that has high flexibility to adapt for the application currently at hand. The interconnection network is then adapted (reconfigured) according to the demands of the currently executed application in each time instance. The analysis shows that it is feasible to build such a system with today’s components.

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