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Unifying Mesh- and Tree-Based Programmable Interconnect

Article by André DeHon published in IEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, Volume 12, Number 10, Pages 1051--1065, October 2004.

We examine the traditional, symmetric, Manhattan Mesh design for FPGA routing along with Tree-of-Meshes (ToM) and Mesh-of-Trees (MoT) based designs. All three networks can provide general routing for limited bisection designs (Rent's Rule with p<1) and allow locality exploitation. They differ in their detailed topology and use of hierarchy. We show that all three have the same asymptotic wiring requirements. We bound this tightly by providing constructive mappings between routes in one network and routes in another. For example, we show that a (c,p) MoT design can be mapped to a (2c,p) linear population ToM and introduce a corner turn scheme which will make it possible to perform the reverse mapping from any (c,p) linear population ToM to a (2c,p) MoT augmented with a particular set of corner turn switches. One consequence of this latter mapping is a multilayer layout strategy for N-node, linear population ToM designs that requires only Theta(N) 2D area for any p when given sufficient wiring layers. We further show upper and lower bounds for global mesh routes based on recursive bisection width and show these are within a constant factor of each other and within a constant factor of MoT and ToM layout area. In the process we identify the parameters and characteristics which make the networks different, making it clear there is a unified design continuum in which these networks are simply particular regions.