UC-PHOTON: A Novel Hybrid Photonic Network-on-Chip for Multiple Use-Case Applications

Shirish Bahirat and Sudeep Pasricha
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1373


Multiple use-case chip multiprocessor (CMP) applications require adaptive on-chip communication fabrics to cope with changing use-case performance needs. Networks-on-chip (NoC) have recently gained popularity as scalable and adaptive on-chip communication fabrics, but suffer from prohibitive power dissipation. In this paper we propose UC-PHOTON, a novel hybrid photonic NoC communication architecture optimized to cope with the variable bandwidth and latency constraints of multiple use-case applications implemented on CMPs. Our detailed experimental results indicate that UC-PHOTON can effectively adapt to meet diverse use-case traffic requirements and optimize energy-delay product and power dissipation, with scaling CMP core count and multiple use-case complexity. For the five multiple use-case applications explored in this work, UC-PHOTON shows several orders of magnitude reduction in power dissipation and energy-delay product compared to traditional electrical NoC fabrics, highlighting the benefits of using the novel communication fabric.