The Octopus switch

Paul J.M. Havinga

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    This chapter1 discusses the interconnection architecture of the Mobile Digital Companion. The approach to build a low-power handheld multimedia computer presented here is to have autonomous, reconfigurable modules such as network, video and audio devices, interconnected by a switch rather than by a bus, and to offload as much as work as possible from the CPU to programmable modules placed in the data streams. Thus, communication between components is not broadcast over a bus but delivered exactly where it is needed, work is carried out where the data passes through, bypassing the memory. The amount of buffering is minimised, and if it is required at all, it is placed right on the data path, where it is needed. A reconfigurable internal communication network switch called Octopus exploits locality of reference and eliminates wasteful data copies. The switch is implemented as a simplified ATM switch and provides Quality of Service guarantees and enough bandwidth for multimedia applications. We have built a testbed of the architecture, of which we will present performance and energy consumption characteristics.
    Original languageUndefined
    Title of host publicationMobile multimedia systems
    PublisherUniversity of Twente
    Number of pages36
    ISBN (Print)9789036514064
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

    Publication series

    PublisherUniversity of Twente


    • IR-56262

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