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VLSI Design
Volume 12 (2001), Issue 1, Pages 25-52
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2001/50167

A Universal, Dynamically Adaptable and Programmable Network Router for Parallel Computers

1CIS Dept., NJIT, USA
2ECE and CIS Depts., NJIT, USA
3Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, New Jersey 07102, USA

Received 14 June 1999; Revised 5 January 2000

Copyright © 2001 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Existing message-passing parallel computers employ routers designed for a specific interconnection network and deal with fixed data channel width. There are disadvantages to this approach, because the system design and development times are significant and these routers do not permit run time network reconfiguration. Changes in the topology of the network may be required for better performance or faulttolerance. In this paper, we introduce a class of high-performance universal (statically and dynamically adaptable) programmable routers (UPRs) for message-passing parallel computers. The universality of these routers is based on their capability to adapt at run and/or static times according to the characteristics of the systems and/or applications. More specifically, the number of bidirectional data channels, the channel size and the I/O port mappings (for the implementation of a particular topology) can change dynamically and statically. Our research focuses on system-level specification issues of the UPRs, their VLSI design and their simulation to estimate their performance. Our simulation of data transfers via UPR routers employs VHDL code in the Mentor Graphics environment. The results show that the performance of the routers depends mostly on their current configuration. Details of the simulation and synthesis are presented.