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Network on a chip

(also NoC, network-on-chip)

Network on a chip definition

A network on a chip (often shortened to simply “NoC”) is a communication infrastructure model where multiple components are integrated into a single chip. NoCs are used in complex integrated circuits like multi-core processors and systems-on-chip (SoCs).

The concept of “network on chips” was first proposed in the January 2002 issue of Computer magazine. Compared to other communication subsystem designs, NOCs improve the scalability and power efficiency of complex SoCs.

See also: network infrastructure

Advantages of the network on a chip model

The biggest advantages of NoC infrastructure are its flexibility and scalability. NoCs accommodate a large number of cores on a single chip, simplifying the design process for complex integrated circuits.

NoC can also improve overall system performance. By enabling efficient communication between processing elements, NoCs improve throughput and optimize energy consumption. In addition, some NoC topologies (such as mesh or torus) provide inherent fault tolerance — if a link fails, alternative pathways allow the system to maintain communication.

Network on a chip components

  • Computational units that perform tasks on the chip, including CPUs, GPUs, and accelerators.
  • Nodes (including memory units and IP blocks).
  • Routers that manage the flow of data by routing packets of information between different nodes.
  • Links that connect nodes and routers to form communication pathways. These links can carry data, control signals, and even power.