- Bandwidth

- Bus

- Intellectual Property (IP) core

- Latency

- Link

- Network Interface (NI)

- Network-on-Chip (NoC)

- Packet

- Multi-Processor System-on-Chip (MPSoC)

- Switch

- Topology

- Transaction


Bandwidth: the amount of information that can be transmitted among two endpoints in the system (or overall across the whole system) in a given time unit. Normally measured in MB/s or GB/s. Together with latency, defines the performance of the interconnect.

Bus: shared connection among multiple IP cores, which need to undergo arbitration to become entitled to transfer data.

Intellectual Property (IP) core: a reusable circuit block performing a complex function, such as a processor, an accelerator, an input/output controller, etc.

Latency: the time (in cycles or nanoseconds) required two transfer information among two endpoints in the system (for example, a processor and a memory). In a bus, it typically includes arbitration followed by the actual data transfer time. In a NoC, it typically includes the translation to/from packets and the actual packet transfer time. Together with bandwidth, defines the performance of the interconnect.

Link: a connection among two NoC blocks, such as two switches or an NI and a switch.

Network Interface (NI): an on-chip circuit block in charge of translating the communication requests of IP cores to/from the NoC packet format. NIs are used as bridges among the IP cores and the NoC topology.

Network-on-Chip (NoC): a packet-switched communication network instantiated on-chip, whose purpose is to transfer information among the IP cores in the system.

Packet: a unit of information that can be transferred across a network-based system. It typically encodes a transaction among two IP cores, or a status/command message.

Multi-Processor System-on-Chip (MPSoC): a highly integrated chip which integrates a broad, and often heterogeneous, array of IP cores.

Switch: an on-chip circuit block in charge of arbitrating and routing packets in the appropriate direction over a NoC.

Topology: the organization (shape) given to a NoC by connecting its switches in a certain manner, such as in a grid pattern, a ring pattern, etc.

Transaction: an exchange of information among two cores, which are normally called initiator (or master) and target (or slave). Examples are a read request, a write command, an interrupt, etc.

Download PDF