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ulglLal sysLems are pervaslve ln modern socleLy ulglLal compuLers are used for Lasksranglng from

slmulaLlng physlcal sysLems Lo managlng large daLabases Lo preparlng documenLs ulglLal


communlcaLlon sysLems relay Lelephone calls vldeo slgnals and lnLerneL daLa Audlo and vldeo
enLerLalnmenL ls lncreaslngly belng dellvered andprocessed ln dlglLal form llnally almosL all producLs
from auLomoblles Lo home appllances are dlglLally conLrolled
A dlglLal sysLem ls composed of Lhree baslc bulldlng blocks loglc memory and communlcaLlon Loglc
Lransforms and comblnes daLafor exampleby performlng arlLhmeLlc operaLlons or maklng declslons
Memory sLores daLa for laLer reLrlevalmovlng lL ln Llme CommunlcaLlon moves daLa from one locaLlon
Lo anoLher
1he performance of mosL dlglLal sysLems Loday ls llmlLed by Lhelr communlcaLlonor lnLerconnecLlon noL
by Lhelr loglc or memory ln a hlghend sysLem mosL of Lhe power ls used Lo drlve wlres and mosL of Lhe
clock cycle ls spenL on wlre delay noL gaLe delay As Lechnology lmproves memorles and processors
become small fasLand lnexpenslve 1he speed of llghL however remalns unchanged 1he pln
denslLyand wlrlng denslLy LhaL govern lnLerconnecLlons beLween sysLem componenLs arescallng aL a
slower raLe Lhan Lhe componenLs Lhemselves Also Lhe frequency of communlcaLlon beLween
componenLs ls lagglng far beyond Lhe clock raLes of modern processors 1hese facLors comblne Lo make
lnLerconnecLlon Lhe key facLor ln Lhesuccess of fuLure dlglLal sysLems
As deslgners sLrlve Lo make more efclenL use of scarce lnLerconnecLlon bandwldLh lnLerconnecLlon
neLworks are emerglng as a nearly unlversal soluLlon Lo Lhe sysLemlevel communlcaLlon problems for
modern dlglLal sysLems Crlglnallydeveloped for Lhe demandlng communlcaLlon requlremenLs of
mulLlcompuLerslnLerconnecLlon neLworks are beglnnlng Lo replace buses as Lhe sLandard sysLemlevel
lnLerconnecLlon1hey are also replaclng dedlcaLed wlrlng ln speclalpurpose sysLemsas deslgners
dlscover LhaL rouLlng packeLs ls boLh fasLer and more economlcal Lhan rouLlng wlres