News Column

Patent Issued for Destination-Based Virtual Channel Assignment in On-Chip Ring Networks

August 5, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Ramanujam, Rohit Sunkam (Santa Clara, CA); Kumar, Sailesh (San Jose, CA); Lynch, William (Los Altos, CA), filed on January 3, 2012, was published online on July 22, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8787379 is Futurewei Technologies, Inc. (Plano, TX).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As transistor and other component sizes become smaller and manufacturing techniques continue to improve, more functionality is being placed on single integrated circuits, or chips. The term system on a chip (SoC) generally refers to integrating all the functionality of a computer or other complex electronic system onto a single chip. A SoC may comprise one or more memories, processors, or input/output ports, all integrated into a single chip. One way of allowing various components of a SoC to communicate is to use an on-chip network, sometimes referred to as a network-on-chip. An on-chip network is intended to replace conventional ways of communicating between electronic components in a complex system, such as conventional bus and crossbar interconnections.

"Ring networks may be an attractive option for on-chip networks because ring networks are of relatively low complexity. A node in a ring network may divide channel resources on a link into virtual channels. Virtual channels are traditionally used to bypass blocked traffic in a network thereby improving link utilization. However, in on-chip networks, in which buffering is limited, the throughput and link utilization may be drastically reduced if one or more of the network nodes are oversubscribed and its packet queues back up and consume a large fraction of the available buffers. Virtual channels may be divided into a number of different virtual channel classes with different priorities. The impact of an oversubscribed network node remains, however, even with the use of virtual classes because a flit available for transmission is typically allowed to reserve any available virtual channel without restriction."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "In one aspect, the invention includes an apparatus comprising a plurality of nodes and a plurality of links connecting the nodes in a ring topology, wherein a first node from among the plurality of nodes is coupled to a first link from among the plurality of links, wherein the first link comprises a plurality of virtual channels, and wherein each of the plurality of virtual channels is assigned to provide service to a unique one of the plurality of nodes.

"In another aspect, the invention includes a method comprising assigning a flit to a virtual channel corresponding to a destination node and transmitting the flit via the virtual channel, wherein the steps are performed in a first node in a plurality of nodes on a single chip.

"In yet another aspect, the invention includes an apparatus comprising a plurality of nodes and a plurality of links connecting the nodes in a ring topology, wherein a first node from among the plurality of nodes is directly connected to a first link from among the plurality of links, wherein the first link comprises a plurality of virtual channels, wherein a first virtual channel from the plurality of virtual channels is assigned to provide service to a first cluster of the plurality of nodes, and wherein the first cluster comprises at least two nodes.

"These and other features will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims."

For additional information on this patent, see: Ramanujam, Rohit Sunkam; Kumar, Sailesh; Lynch, William. Destination-Based Virtual Channel Assignment in On-Chip Ring Networks. U.S. Patent Number 8787379, filed January 3, 2012, and published online on July 22, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8787379.PN.&OS=PN/8787379RS=PN/8787379

Keywords for this news article include: Futurewei Technologies Inc..

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Source: Journal of Technology


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