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Gradient Clock Synchronization for Networks-on-Chip and Cellular Networks


In large distributed computing systems there is a big performance advantage when all communication can be carried out synchronously.
Current synchronization techniques result in long communication latencies as the systems scale up in size and operating frequency.
We identify two key application areas in which this is an immediate and pressing challenge.
1. Large Networks-on-Chip (NoCs) do not operate synchronously, despite the relative ease of design and low-latency communication this would offer.
2. Despite issues of security and availability, current cellphone networks rely on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) such as GPS to obtain tightly synchronized time.

We propose the application of Gradient Clock Synchronization (GCS) as a novel clock synchronization method for these applications.
GCS minimizes the time offset between close-by parts of the system.
This results in much smaller offsets between such parts than standard techniques that aim at minimizing the maximum global offset only.
Given that in the above application settings, it is the offset between close-by parts that matters, this enables us to achieve large improvements in performance.
In particular, we can eliminate the issues faced by NoC designs and cellphone networks that we pointed out above.

The main objectives of the proposed PoC project itself can be stated as follows.
- Development, fabrication, and evaluation of an ASIC demonstrator for SoC and NoC clocking.
- Development and evaluation of a secure wireless implementation of the GCS algorithm.
- Patent protection of the generated intellectual property.
- Finding industrial pilot partners for development of products in follow-up projects.


Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
66123 Saarbrucken

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Saarland Saarland Regionalverband Saarbrücken
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (1)