NPRC-I/O: A NoC-based Real-Time I/O System with Reduced Contention and Enhanced Predictability

Zhe Jiang, Xiaotian Dai, Ian Gray, Ran Wei, Zonghua Gu, Qingling Zhao, Shuai Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


All systems rely on inputs and outputs (I/Os) to perceive and interact with their surroundings. In safety-critical systems, it is important to guarantee both the performance and time-predictability of I/O operations. However, with the continued growth of architectural complexity in modern safety-critical systems, satisfying such real-time requirements has become increasingly challenging due to complex I/O transaction paths and extensive hardware contention. In this paper, we present a new NoC-based Predictable I/O system framework (NPRC-I/O) which reduces this contention and ensures the performance and timepredictability of I/O operations. Specifically, NPRC-I/O contains a programmable I/O command controller (NPRC-CC) and a runtime reconfigurable NoC (RNoC), which provides the capability to adjust I/O transaction paths at run-time. Using this flexibility, we construct an end-to-end transmission latency analysis and an optimisation engine that produces configurations for NPRCI/ O and the I/O traffic in a given system. The constructed analysis and optimisation engine guarantee the timing of all hard realtime traffic while reducing the deadline misses of soft real-time traffic and overall transmission latency.

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