Electrical & Computer Engineering     |     Carnegie Mellon

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 12:00-1:00 p.m. HH-1112


Brett Meyer
Carnegie Mellon University

Cost-Effective Lifetime Optimization for NoC-Based MPSoCs

As semiconductor manufacturing processes scale, lifetime reliability problems are predicted to increase rapidly. Of particular concern is the exponential growth of wear-out induced permanent transistor failure, and the resulting failure of processors, memories, and interconnect in everyday MPSoCs. Designers will need to respond by addressing the lifetime of all designs, not simply those intended for safety-critical or high-availability systems.

The designers of such everyday systems rely on automation approaches to meet time-to-market constraints, but at present there are few tools to assist with design lifetime optimization. We propose meeting this need with a novel synthesis approach that generates lifetime-enhanced application-specific NoC-based MPSoCs by finding the custom communication architectures and redundancy allocations that present the best trade-offs of cost and lifetime in the presence of permanent component failure. Given an application and hardware/software partitioning, our approach will, in a cost-sensitive way, distribute network bandwidth and redundant resources to enable task remapping and traffic re-routing in order to increase the probability that systems are able to continue to operate even after components have failed.

To gain insight into how to organize such a tool, we conducted a design space case study exploring the relationship of system communication architecture, redundancy allocation, system cost and system reliability in NoC-based MPSoCs. Based on this case study, we divide design space exploration into two iteratively repeated steps: NoC Search and RA Search. NoC Search uses cause-of-failure analysis to make incremental changes to the system communication architecture. RA Search then searches for allocations of redundant capacity to processors and memories that offer the best reliability and cost trade-offs. NoC Search and RA Search are repeated a number of times, resulting in a set of cost-reliability Pareto-optimal design points for the designer to choose from. This talk focuses on the experimental support for such a design space exploration formulation, and presents some initial results from a preliminary implementation of RA Search.


Brett H. Meyer is a Ph.D candidate advised by Professor Don Thomas in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He received his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, and his M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. His research is presently focused on the automation of embedded multiprocessor-systems-on-chips for increased lifetime in the presence of permanent component failure.