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HyperTransport™ Technology I/O Link. Presentation by Mike Jonas. The I/O Bandwidth Problem. While microprocessor performance continues to double every eighteen months, the performance of the I/O bus architecture has lagged, doubling in performance approximately every three years.

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hypertransport technology i o link

HyperTransport™ Technology I/O Link

Presentation by Mike Jonas

the i o bandwidth problem
The I/O Bandwidth Problem
  • While microprocessor performance continues to double every eighteen months, the performance of the I/O bus architecture has lagged, doubling in performance approximately every three years.
  • Every time processor performance doubles, latency only increases by a factor of 1.2.
the i o bandwidth problem2
The I/O Bandwidth Problem

A number of new technologies are responsible for the increasing demand for additional bandwidth.

  • High-resolution, texture-mapped 3D graphics and high-definition streaming video are escalating bandwidth needs between CPUs and graphics processors.
  • Technologies like high-speed networking (Gigabit Ethernet, InfiniBand, etc.) and wireless communications (Bluetooth) are allowing more devices to exchange growing amounts of data at rapidly increasing speeds.
  • Software technologies are evolving, resulting in breakthrough methods of utilizing multiple system processors. As processor speeds rise, so will the need for very fast, high-volume inter-processor data traffic.
the hypertransport technology solution
The HyperTransport™ Technology Solution
  • HyperTransport is intended to support “in-the-box” connectivity
  • High-speed, high-performance, point-to-point link for interconnecting integrated circuits on a board.
  • Max signaling rate of 1.6 GHz on each wire pair, a HyperTransport technology link can support a peak aggregate bandwidth of 12.8 Gbytes/s.
hypertransport design goals
HyperTransport™ Design Goals

Improve system performance

- Provide increased I/O bandwidth

- Ensure low latency responses

- Reduce power consumption

Simplify system design

- Use as few pins as possible to allow smaller packages and to reduce cost

Increase I/O flexibility

- Provide a modular bridge architecture

hypertransport design goals1
HyperTransport™ Design Goals

Maintain compatibility with legacy systems

- Complement standard external buses

- Have little or no impact on existing operating systems and drivers

Ensure extensibility to new system network architecture (SNA) buses

Provide highly scalable multiprocessing systems

flexible i o architecture
Flexible I/O Architecture
  • The physical layer defines the physical and electrical characteristics of the protocol. This layer interfaces to the physical world and includes data, control, and clock lines.
  • The data link layer includes the initialization and configuration sequence, periodic cyclic redundancy check (CRC), disconnect/reconnect sequence, information packets for flow control and error management, and double word framing for other packets.
  • The protocol layer includes the commands, the virtual channels in which they run, and the ordering rules that govern their flow.
  • The transaction layer uses the elements provided by the protocol layer to perform actions, such as reads and writes.
  • The session layer includes rules for negotiating power management state changes, as well as interrupt and system management activities.
device configurations
Device Configurations

HyperTransport technology creates a packet-based link implemented on two independent, unidirectional sets of signals. It provides a broad range of system topologies built with three generic device types:

  • Cave—A single-link device at the end of the chain.
  • Tunnel—A dual-link device that is not a bridge.
  • Bridge—Has a primary link upstream link in the direction of the host and one or more secondary links.
electrical configuration
Electrical Configuration
  • The signaling technology used in HyperTransport technology is a type of low voltage differential signaling (LVDS ).
  • LVDS has been widely used in these types of applications because it requires fewer pins and wires.
  • Cost and power requirements are reduced because the transceivers are built into the controller chips.
minimal pin count
Minimal Pin Count?

It would seem at a glance that they failed in their objective of lowering pin count because they require 2 pins per bit of data being transferred per direction. Why then do they claim to have reduced pin count? The increase in signal pins is offset by three factors:

  • Commands, addresses, and data (CAD) all share the same bits.
  • By using separate data paths, HyperTransport I/O links are designed to operate at much higher frequencies than existing bus architectures. This means that buses delivering equivalent or better bandwidth can be implemented using fewer signals.
  • Differential signaling provides a return current path for each signal, greatly reducing the number of power and ground pins required in each package.
minimal pin count1
Minimal Pin Count?
  • The pin count for transferring 8 bits in parallel has definitely increased.
  • However more data can be transferred with fewer pins. Remember, 1.6 GHz wire rate.
maximum bandwidth
Maximum Bandwidth
  • HyperTransport links implement double data rate (DDR) transfer, where transfers take place on both the rising and falling edges of the clock signal.
  • An implementation of HyperTransport links with 16 CAD bits in each direction with a 1.6-GHz data rate provides bandwidth of 3.2 Gigabytes per second in each direction, for an aggregate peak bandwidth of 6.4 Gbytes/s, or 48 times the peak bandwidth of a 33-MHz PCI bus.
  • A low-cost, low-power HyperTransport link using two CAD bits in each direction and clocked at 400 MHz provides 200 Mbytes/s of bandwidth in each direction, or nearly four times the peak bandwidth of PCI 32/33.
  • What about PCI Express?

PCI Express also uses LVDS

Each data lane of a PCI Express card transmits 250 Mbytes/s in each direction.

As shown here an 8 lane PCI express connector has 49 total pins

  • By comparison from table 3, an 8 lane wide bi-directional HyperTransport link requires 55 pins, 6 more than PCI Express.
  • This HyperTransport link can transmit 3.2 Gbytes/s, 1.2 Gbytes/s more than PCI Express
  • HyperTransport functions on half the voltage as PCI Express
protocol layer
Protocol Layer
  • All HyperTransport technology commands are either four or eight bytes long and begin with a 6-bit command type field. The most commonly used commands are Read Request, Read Response, and Write.
session layer
Session Layer
  • Link Width Optimization

- All 16-bit, 32-bit, and asymmetrically-sized configurations must be enabled by a software initialization step.

- After a cold reset BIOS reprograms all linked to the desired width

session layer1
Session Layer
  • Link Frequency Initialization

- At cold reset, all links power-up with 200-MHz clocks.

- Registers store supported clock frequencies

- After some analysis Firmware then writes the two frequency registers to set the frequency for each link.

- Once all devices have been configured, firmware initiates an LDTSTOP# disconnect or RESET# of the affected chain to cause the new frequency to take effect.

  • http://www.hypertransport.org/docs/wp/25012A_HTWhite_Paper_v1.1.pdf