Efficient Interconnection Schemes for VLSI and Parallel Computation

Document Type


Publication Date



This thesis is primarily concerned with two problems of interconnecting components in VLSI technologies. In the first case, the goal is to construct efficient interconnection networks for general-purpose parallel computers. The second problem is a more specialized problem in the design of VLSI chips, namely multilayer channel routing. In addition, a final part of this thesis provides lower bounds on the area required for VLSI implementations of finite-state machines. This thesis shows that networks based on Leiserson's fat-tree architecture are nearly as good as any network built in a comparable amount of physical space. It shows that these "universal" networks can efficiently simulate competing networks by means of an appropriate correspondence between network components and efficient algorithms for routing messages on the universal network. In particular, a universal network of area A can simulate competing networks with O(lg^3A) slowdown (in bit-times), using a very simple randomized routing algorithm and simple network components. Alternatively, a packet routing scheme of Leighton, Maggs, and Rao can be used in conjunction with more sophisticated switching components to achieve O(lg^2 A) slowdown. Several other important aspects of universality are also discussed. It is shown that universal networks can be constructed in area linear in the number of processors, so that there is no need to restrict the density of processors in competing networks. Also results are presented for comparisons between networks of different size or with processors of different sizes (as determined by the amount of attached memory). Of particular interest is the fact that a universal network built from sufficiently small processors can simulate (with the slowdown already quoted) any competing network of comparable size regardless of the size of processors in the competing network. In addition, many of the results given do not require the usual assumption of unit wire delay. Finally, though most of the discussion is in the two-dimensional world, the results are shown to apply in three dimensions by way of a simple demonstration of general results on graph layout in three dimensions. The second main problem considered in this thesis is channel routing when many layers of interconnect are available, a scenario that is becoming more and more meaningful as chip fabrication technologies advance. This thesis describes a system MulCh for multilayer channel routing which extends the Chameleon system developed at U. C. Berkeley. Like Chameleon, MulCh divides a multilayer problem into essentially independent subproblems of at most three layers, but unlike Chameleon, MulCh considers the possibility of using partitions comprised of a single layer instead of only partitions of two or three layers. Experimental results show that MulCh often performs better than Chameleon in terms of channel width, total net length, and number of vias. In addition to a description of MulCh as implemented, this thesis provides improved algorithms for subtasks performed by MulCh, thereby indicating potential improvements in the speed and performance of multilayer channel routing. In particular, a linear time algorithm is given for determining the minimum width required for a single-layer channel routing problem, and an algorithm is given for maintaining the density of a collection of nets in logarithmic time per net insertion. The last part of this thesis shows that straightforward techniques for implementing finite-state machines are optimal in the worst case. Specifically, for any s and k, there is a deterministic finite-state machine with s states and k symbols such that any layout algorithm requires (ks lg s) area to lay out its realization. For nondeterministic machines, there is an analogous lower bound of (ks^2) area.


Submitted to the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology September 1989.

Note that the version here has some pagination differences due to using newer LaTeX software and/or fonts.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

This document is currently not available here.