Bio: R. Wilson is an academic researcher. The author has contributed to research in topics: Application-specific integrated circuit. The author has an hindex of 1, co-authored 1 publications receiving 1 citations.
••13 Jun 2005
TL;DR: This lively panel will discuss whether it is FPGAs, structured/platform ASICs, or something else that stand to gain the most ground from the projected $25B ASIC market, and why.
Abstract: Moore's law delivers higher performance and lower cost for FPGAs and ASICs alike, but at the 90nm process node and below, design schedules using the traditional cell-based ASIC design methodology hit a wall of uncertainty. At 90nm and below an emerging alternative ASIC design platform is either Platform ASIC or FPGAs. Which way will the cell-based ASIC designer turn for their next design?Over time, FPGAs and structured/platform ASICs are together poised to replace today's cell-based ASIC market, but which is the real answer to future digital design? Can companies really use these platforms to achieve the system cost reduction and functionality that they need to stay competitive? Which applications will migrate to these platforms the fastest? Is it possible to just tweak the existing cell-based methodology to more efficiently reach the benefits of 90nm process nodes and below? This lively panel will discuss whether it is FPGAs, structured/platform ASICs, or something else that stand to gain the most ground from the projected $25B ASIC market, and why.
01 Jan 2008
TL;DR: Brick and mortar chips are introduced, which aim to obtain the benefits of Moore's Law without the financial side effects, and software partitioning and mapping techniques which balance communication costs against computational resource contention are developed.
Abstract: While Moore's Law has advanced the semiconductor and technology industries, it has simultaneously driven up the cost of engineering a chip in a modern silicon process. The result is that fewer and fewer chips are produced in larger and larger volumes, stifling hardware diversity. This thesis introduces brick and mortar chips, which aim to obtain the benefits of Moore's Law without the financial side effects. Brick and mortar chips are made from small, pre-fabricated hardware components (called bricks) that are bonded in a designer-specified arrangement to a communication backbone chip which serves as the mortar (called the I/O cap). Our research examines several aspects of this chip manufacturing system. We develop a family of functional bricks, demonstrating a methodology for developing families that make efficient use of physical computation and communication resources. For high-performance communication between arbitrary combinations of bricks we propose a polymorphic on-chip network. This network allows a single I/O cap to be configured to implement the ideal network for any particular application. We analyze a low-cost, physical component assembly technique called fluidic self-assembly, and find that the chip production rate is intertwined with the architectural design of the components. To minimize application execution time on these partitioned chips, we develop software partitioning and mapping techniques which balance communication costs against computational resource contention. We close with a case study: an analysis of a brick and mortar implementation of a chip multiprocessor. Despite this being a highly latency sensitive design, our measurements indicate a worst case 36% average slowdown in application execution compared to a traditional, monolithic chip. Based on this, our cost analysis, and a survey of related technologies, we conclude that brick and mortar offers the best available performance for its price.