A process compensated gain cell embedded-DRAM for ultra-low-power variation-aware design

Robert Giterman, Adam Teman, Pascal Meinerzhagen, Alexander Fish, Andreas Burg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Gain cell embedded DRAM (GC-eDRAM) is a high-density alternative to SRAM for ultra-low-power systems. However, due to its dynamic nature, GC-eDRAM requires power-hungry refresh cycles to ensure data retention. Traditional design approaches dictate configuration of the refresh rate according to the worst bitcell, when biased at low-probability, worst-case conditions. However, due to the process variations and local mismatch that can significantly deteriorate the data retention time of a GC-eDRAM bitcell, this design approach often leads to a large power overhead. In this paper, we present a novel GC-eDRAM architecture, incorporating several techniques for variation-aware operation. The primary feature of this architecture is an improved replica scheme for process compensated access tracking that enables calibration for process variations and adaptive refresh according to the array access statistics. The array is shown to ensure data integrity, providing as much as a 7x reduction in retention power over worst-case refresh-rate design for 20% write activity.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationISCAS 2016 - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Pages1006-1009
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781479953400
DOIs
StatePublished - 29 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event2016 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2016 - Montreal, Canada
Duration: 22 May 201625 May 2016

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems
Volume2016-July
ISSN (Print)0271-4310

Conference

Conference2016 IEEE International Symposium on Circuits and Systems, ISCAS 2016
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityMontreal
Period22/05/1625/05/16

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