Would you say that if some work is the most cited reference regarding a specific concept, it would represent the reference that introduced that concept? Who is considered/credited for introducing the network-on-chip concept? Based on the number of citations, it seems that reference  below might be the one, even though some older references had already discussed the concept. While  used the term “on chip network”, today, arguably, “network on chip” discussed in  is the term that is more popular :-). Do you know of any other candidate reference or do you know some insight story regarding the emergence of the NoC concept? If so, please let me know and I’ll include it here.
(Updated on 2015.April.10; thanks Joel for the updated numbers)
 C. Seitz, Let’s route packets instead of wires, Advanced Research in VLSI: Proceedings of the Sixth MIT Conference, 1990. CITED BY 46; NOTE: AT SYSTEM LEVEL, INTER-CHIP
 P. Guerrier and A. Greiner, A generic architecture for on-chip packet-switched interconnections, DATE, March 2000. CITED BY 1009
 A. Hemani, A. Jantsch, S. Kumar, A. Postula, J. Oberg, M. Millberg, and D. Lindqvist, Network on Chip: an architecture for billion transistor era, IEEE NorChip Conference, Nov. 2000. CITED BY 426
 W.J. Dally and B. Towles, Route packets, not wires: on-chip interconnection networks, ACM/IEEE Design Automation Conference (DAC), June 2001. CITED BY 3153
 L. Benini and G. De Micheli, Networks on chips: a new SoC paradigm, Computer, vol. 35, no. 1, pp. 70-78, 2002. CITED BY 3365