Dr. Gregory Byrd
and Dr. Rhett Davis
of the ECE Department at NC State were granted $300,000 for research on Architectures and Applications for Three-Dimensional Chip Multiprocessors.
Three-dimensional integrated circuits (3DIC's) allow chip components to be packed more closely together, for higher performance and lower power consumption compared to traditional two-dimensional multi-core chips. The goal of the project is to develop chip multiprocessor architectures that best exploit the capabilities of 3DIC's. The project will develop tools that couple architectural evaluation with design and layout, in order to get quick feedback on issues like power consumption and thermal hotspots.
The work of the project will perform detailed tradeoff analyses of architectural alternatives, especially with respect to memory hierarchy and interconnection networks, in order to discover approaches that fully exploit the benefits of 3D integration. This analysis will be performed at both the architectural level and the physical design level, and tools will be developed to allow information and constraints to smoothly flow between levels, enabling new opportunities for collaboration between architects and chip designers. The studies will be driven by highly-parallel applications that require high performance within strict power and thermal constraints, such as video compression and signal processing in embedded environments.