Modern systems-on-chip (SoCs) today contain hundreds of cores, and this number is predicted to reach the thousands by the year 2020. As the number of communicating elements increases, there is a need for an efficient, scalable and reliable communication infrastructure. As technology geometries shrink to the deep submicron regime, however, the communication delay and power consumption of global interconnections become the major bottleneck. The network-on-chip (NoC) design paradigm, based on a modular packet-switched mechanism, can address many of the on-chip communication issues, such as the performance limitations of long interconnects and integration of large number of cores on a chip. Recently, new communication technologies based on the NoC concept have emerged with the aim of improving the scalability limitations of conventional NoC-based architectures. Among them, wireless NoCs (WiNoCs) use the radio medium for reducing the performance and energy penalties of long-range and multi-hop communications. As the radio medium can be accessed by a single transmitter at a time, a radio access control mechanism (RACM) is needed. In this paper, we present a novel RACM, which allows one to improve both the performance and energy figures of the WiNoC. Experiments, carried out on both synthetic and real traffic scenarios, have shown the effectiveness of the proposed RACM. On average, a 30% reduction in communication delay and a 25% energy savings have been observed when the proposed RACM is applied to a known WiNoC architecture.
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