[Nets-seminars] UCL EE Seminar tomorrow 6th June 2014

Richard G. Clegg richard at richardclegg.org
Thu Jun 5 13:55:30 BST 2014

Don't forget tomorrow's seminar which will be at 16:00 6th June in 
GS/102.  The speaker is Philip Watts:

Towards Zero Latency Photonic Switching

Developments in silicon photonics could see photonic network elements 
co-packaged with processors creating low energy networks-on-chip (NoC) 
or direct links between processors across a data centre.   However, 
although it is easy to show that basic photonic network elements have 
lower latency and energy requirements than their electronic 
counterparts, on the system level the issue is not so clear cut.  For 
example, the scheduling overhead incurred in reconfiguring photonic 
switches can be a significant overhead for the short messages created by 
shared memory networks and Ethernet. Furthermore, recent NoC results 
have suggested that the edge buffering required in photonic networks 
results in greater overall energy consumption than electronic NoCs.  Due 
to the fundamental differences between electronic and photonic networks, 
new architectures and scheduling algorithms are required to exploit 
photonics in future systems.  This talk will describe low energy, low 
latency network architectures for two scenarios: (1) a shared memory 
coherence network for cache coherent multicore chips or multi-socket 
servers; (2) an optical top-of-rack switch for data centres


Dr Philip Watts was awarded the PhD from UCL in 2008 for research in 
digital signal processing (DSP) for optical fibre communications. From 
2008 to 2011 he was a Research Fellow at the Computer Laboratory, 
University of Cambridge where he developed his current research in 
photonic interconnects for high performance computer systems.  He was 
awarded an EPSRC Research Fellowship in 2010 and moved to his current 
position of Lecturer in the Electronic and Electrical Engineering 
Department at UCL in 2011.  He has published more than 50 conference and 
journal papers and two patents in the fields of DSP for optical 
communications and optical interconnect systems including 14 invited 
papers.  During his academic research career he has collaborated or 
consulted with Intel, Extera, Ericson, Huawei, Xilinx and Inphi as well 
as gaining 10 years industrial optical product development experience 
with BAE Systems and Nortel prior to his PhD.  He was awarded the IEEE 
Photonics Society postgraduate student fellowship in 2006, the Royal 
Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Brunel Research Fellowship in 2008 
and is a co-investigator on the EPSRC UNLOC programme grant.  He serves 
on the technical programme committees of Field Programmable Logic (FPL) 
and the IEEE Symposium on High Performance Interconnects.

Richard G. Clegg,
Dept of Elec. Eng.,
University College London

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