Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Arthur V. Pohm


This research investigates several problems associated with current multiprocessor interconnection networks, focusing primarily on general-purpose, shared-memory configurations. The project deals with all aspects of the interconnection, from the architectural level to the physical backplane. A bus-based architecture is presented as an alternative to the limitations of current schemes. This dissertation will focus on the physical layer implementation;For increased reliability, performance and scalability, a multiple-bus architecture is proposed. Each bus uses a word-serial approach to keep the total number of bus signals manageable. A source-synchronous transfer protocol allows data to be streamed at a high rate, thus increasing the pin-efficiency of the bus. The control acquisition scheme combines collision detection and priority arbitration to minimize bus access time without requiring additional signal lines. Cache coherence, message passing, and synchronization primitives are provided within the bus protocol to support multiple-processor systems;To reduce the capacitive loading on the bus, an active backplane is employed. This moves the transceiver and bus interface unit from the plug-in module down to the backplane. In addition to increasing the characteristic impedance of the bus, it also reduces the end-to-end propagation delay. Another advantage of moving the bus transceivers to the backplane is the uniform load presented to the bus, regardless of whether a slot is populated;Due to the reduction in drive current required, a custom CMOS transceiver, suitable for VLSI implementation, is used. It incorporates the collision detection circuitry required for the control acquisition scheme. Initial transceiver prototypes have been designed and fabricated in 2-[mu]m CMOS. These have been successfully tested at transfer rates in excess of 50MHz.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Scott Alan Irwin



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

114 pages