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LORAX: Loss-Aware Approximations for Energy-Efficient Silicon Photonic Networks-on-Chip

by   Febin Sunny, et al.

The approximate computing paradigm advocates for relaxing accuracy goals in applications to improve energy-efficiency and performance. Recently, this paradigm has been explored to improve the energy efficiency of silicon photonic networks-on-chip (PNoCs). In this paper, we propose a novel framework (LORAX) to enable more aggressive approximation during communication over silicon photonic links in PNoCs. Given that silicon photonic interconnects have significant power dissipation due to the laser sources that generate the wavelengths for photonic communication, our framework attempts to reduce laser power overheads while intelligently approximating communication such that application output quality is not distorted beyond an acceptable limit. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work that considers loss-aware laser power management and multilevel signaling to enable effective data approximation and energy-efficiency in PNoCs. Simulation results show that our framework can achieve up to 31.4 better energy efficiency than the best known prior work on approximate communication with silicon photonic interconnects, for the same application output quality


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