What Does Network on a Chip Mean?
Network on a chip is a concept in which a single silicon chip is used to implement the communication features of large-scale to very large-scale integration systems. In the case of large-scale designs, network on a chip is preferred as it reduces the complexity involved in designing the wires and also provides a well-controlled structure capable of better power, speed and reliability. For high-end system-on-chip designs, network on a chip is considered the best integrated solution.
Techopedia Explains Network on a Chip
Network on a chip is designed in such a way that messages can flow from the source module to the destination module via several links that involve routing decisions at switches. It has multiple point-to-point data links that are interconnected by switches. It can be classified as a homogeneous switched fabric network, which is scalable.
Network on a chip has the following features:
- Network on a chip helps in simplifying the hardware required for routing and switching functions.
- Multi-topology and multi-option support is possible for different areas of the network.
- Scalability, interoperability and feature development are enhanced when combined with network on a chip.
- Power efficiency of complex system-on-chips is improved with network on a chip compared to other designs.
- Synchronization issues are handled better than in other designs. The wire routing congestion present in most system-on-chips is also handled better by the network on a chip.
- Network on a chip provides higher operating frequencies.
- Timing closure is much easier to implement.
- Verification of problems is much easier, thanks to its well-designed and layered approach.