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INTACTE: An interconnect area, delay, and energy estimation tool for microarchitectural explorations

by A.b Bhardwaj A.b Srikant Y.N.a Nagpal R.a Madan
CASES'07: Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference on Compilers, Architecture, and Synthesis for Embedded Systems ()
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Prior work on modeling interconnects has focused on optimizing the wire and repeater design for trading off energy and delay, and is largely based on low level circuit parameters. Hence these models are hard to use directly to make high level microarchitectural trade-offs in the initial exploration phase of a design. In this paper, we propose INTACTE, a tool that can be used by architects toget reasonably accurate interconnect area, delay, and power estimates based on a few architecture level parameters for the interconnect such as length, width (in number of bits), frequency, and latency for a specified technology and voltage. The tool uses well known models of interconnect delay and energy taking into account the wire pitch, repeater size, and spacing for a range of voltages and technologies.It then solves an optimization problem of finding the lowest energy interconnect design in terms of the low level circuit parameters, which meets the architectural constraintsgiven as inputs. In addition, the tool also provides the area, energy, and delay for a range of supply voltages and degrees of pipelining, which can be used for micro-architectural exploration of a chip. The delay and energy models used by the tool have been validated against low level circuit simulations. We discuss several potential applications of the tool and present an example of optimizing interconnect design in the context of clustered VLIW architectures. Copyright 2007 ACM.

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