Minimizing total area of low-voltage SRAM arrays through joint optimization of cell size, redundancy, and ECC

Shi Ting Zhou, Sumeet Katariya, Hamid Ghasemi, Stark Draper, Nam Sung Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The increasing power consumption of processors has made power reduction a first-order priority in their design. Voltage scaling is one of the most successful power-reduction techniques introduced to date, but it is limited to some minimum voltage, VDDMIN, below which all components cannot operate reliably. In particular, ever-increasing process variability due to shrinking feature size further degrades the low-voltage reliability of, e.g., SRAM cells. Larger SRAM cells are less sensitive to process variability and their use would allow a reduction in VDDMIN. However, large-scale memory structures, e.g., last-level caches (LLCs) that often determine the VDDMIN of processors, cannot afford to use such large SRAM cells due to the resulting increase in die area. In this paper we propose a joint optimization of LLC cell size, number of redundant cells, and ECC (error-correction coding) strength to minimize total SRAM area while meeting target yields and VDDMIN. The use of redundant cells and ECC enable the use of smaller cell sizes while maintaining target yields and VDDMIN. Smaller cell sizes more than make up for the extra cells required by redundancy and ECC. We first assess each approach individually, i.e., only redundancy or ECC for various cell sizes. We then consider a combined approach and observe significant improvements. For example, in 32nm technology our combined approach yields a 27% reduction in total SRAM area (including redundant cells) when targeting a VDDMIN of 600mV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2010 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2010
Pages112-117
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Event28th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2010 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: Oct 3 2010Oct 6 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Computer Design: VLSI in Computers and Processors
ISSN (Print)1063-6404

Other

Other28th IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2010
CountryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period10/3/1010/6/10

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Zhou, S. T., Katariya, S., Ghasemi, H., Draper, S., & Kim, N. S. (2010). Minimizing total area of low-voltage SRAM arrays through joint optimization of cell size, redundancy, and ECC. In 2010 IEEE International Conference on Computer Design, ICCD 2010 (pp. 112-117). [5647605] (Proceedings - IEEE International Conference on Computer Design: VLSI in Computers and Processors). https://doi.org/10.1109/ICCD.2010.5647605