A new simulator developed by the University of Southampton will pave the way for smaller handheld computing devices.
Professor Bashir Al-Hashimi and his team at the University’s School of Electronics & Computer Science (ECS) developed the NIRGAM (Network-on-Chip Interconnect RoutinG and Applications Modelling), a simulator which will make it possible to easily connect up the various cores which exist within a System-on-Chip (SoC).
According to Professor Al-Hashimi, as the demand for more functionality from hand-held devices increases, the current interconnection techniques will not be adequate.
‘The microelectronics industry predicts that in 2008 SoCs will contain over 50 processing and memory blocks and this will increase to 100 cores in 2012,’ he said.
This led to Professor Al-Hashimi and Professor Alex Yakovlev at the University of Newcastle securing funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in 2005 to develop the interconnection technology for multiprocessor SoCs, from which NIRGAM has been developed.
‘The availability of such a simulator will be welcomed by the SoC and Network-on- Chip (NoC) research communities since it allows researchers to plug-in and experiment with different applications and routing algorithms using different traffic and topologies,’ said Professor Al-Hashimi.
The simulator will enable researchers to evaluate quickly their routing algorithms and applications on a NoC platform without the need to develop long programs.