Network on a Chip

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.

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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.
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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.