A lightweight fault-tolerant mechanism for network-on-chip

Michihiro Koibuchi, Hiroki Matsutani, Hideharu Amano, Timothy Mark Pinkston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

118 Citations (Scopus)


Survival capability is becoming a crucial factor in designing multicore processors built with on-chip packet networks, or networks on chip (NoCs). In this paper, we propose a lightweight fault-tolerant mechanism for NoCs based on default backup paths (DBPs) designed to maintain, in the presence of failures, network connectivity of both nonfaulty routers as well as healthy processor cores which may be connected to faulty routers. The mechanism provides default paths as backup between certain router ports which serve as alternative datapaths to circumvent failed components within a faulty router. Along with a minimal subset of normal network channels, the set of default backup paths internal to faulty routers form - in the worst case - a unidirectional ring topology that provides network-wide connectivity to all processor cores. Routing using the DBP mechanism is proved to be deadlock-free with only two virtual channels even for fault scenarios in which regular networks degrade to irregular (arbitrary) topologies. Evaluation results show that, for a 2-D mesh wormhole NoC, only 12.6% additional hardware resources are needed to implement the proposed DBP mechanism in order to provide graceful performance degradation without chip-wide failure as the number of faults increases to the maximum needed to form ring.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - Second IEEE International Symposium on Networks-on-Chip, NOCS 2008
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event2nd IEEE International Symposium on Networks-on-Chip, NOCS 2008 - Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Duration: 2008 Apr 72008 Apr 11

Publication series

NameProceedings - Second IEEE International Symposium on Networks-on-Chip, NOCS 2008


Other2nd IEEE International Symposium on Networks-on-Chip, NOCS 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityNewcastle upon Tyne

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science


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