Hardwired Networks on Chip in FPGAs to Unify Functional and Configuration Interconnects
Source: Delft University of Technology
The authors propose that Networks on Chip (NOC) are hard-wired in Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). Although some area of the FPGA then has a fixed function, this loss of flexibility is outweighed by the following benefits. First, implementation cost is much reduced. Second, a hardwired NOC solves physical problems such as timing closure and high cost of global wiring. Third, dynamic partial reconfiguration can be better exploited. Compared to current soft or firm interconnects, a hardwired NOC poses fewer restrictions on the (re)placement of IP blocks in the FPGA. Finally, they also propose that the hardwired NOC is used for both the functional interconnect between the IP blocks and the configuration interconnect that transports the bitstreams.