A 2 Gb/s Asymmetric Serial Link for High-Bandwidth Packet Switches

Abstract

This paper describes the design of a novel CMOS 2 Gb/s asymmetric serial link. The serial link is designed for systems that use high speed chip-to-chip communications. In such designs, power dissipation is a common problem, particularly when multiple serial links are required on one chip. The power arises primarily from the phase adjustment circuitry used to align data with the clock. This circuitry is usually placed at the receiver, but in our asymmetric link design we take a different approach. We first assume that a link consists of two unidirectional connections — one for each direction of the link. We move the phase adjustment circuitry from one end of the link to the other, adjusting the phase of the transmitter rather than the receiver. Although this does not reduce overall system power, it allows us to choose the location of the phase adjustment circuitry, moving it from chips with a large number of links to chips with a smaller number. The link was designed for use in the Tiny Tera packet switch, which has a crossbar switch at its center. Simulations suggests that the power dissipation of serial links on the crossbar switch can be reduced by a factor of 4.

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@inproceedings{Chang1997A2G, title={A 2 Gb/s Asymmetric Serial Link for High-Bandwidth Packet Switches}, author={Ken Chang and William Ellersick and Shang-Tse Chuang and Stefanos Sidiropoulos and Mark Horowitz}, year={1997} }