In the era of the nanometer CMOS technology, due to stringent system requirements in power, performance and other fundamental physical limitations (such as mechanical reliability, thermal constraints, overall system form factor, etc.), future VLSI systems are relying more on ultra-high data rates (up to 100 Gbps/pin or 20 Tbps aggregate), scalable, re-configurable, highly compact and reliable interconnect fabric. To overcome such challenges, we first explore the use of multiband RF/wireless-interconnects which can communicate simultaneously through multiple frequency bands with low power signal transmission, reconfigurable bandwidth and excellent mechanical flexibility and reliability. We then review recent advances in RF/wireless-interconnect in four different potential application domains, which include network-on-chips (NoCs), 3-dimensional integrated circuit (3DIC), advanced memory interface and ultra-high speed contactless connectors. Based on those developments, we further propose the future research direction on future inter- and intra-VLSI interconnect system through the comparison of performance and the proper communication range for all three types of interconnects, including communication data throughput, range and power consumption (pJ/bit) among the RF/wireless-interconnects, the optical interconnects and traditional parallel repeated bus.
- 3-dimensional integrated circuit
- Advanced memory interface
- Wireless RF-interconnect
- Wireless contactless connector