Impact of process variation on self-reference sensing scheme and adaptive current modulation for robust STTRAM sensing

Seyedhamidreza Motaman, Swaroop Ghosh, Jaydeep Kulkarni

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Spin-Transfer-Torque RAM (STTRAM) is a promising technology for high-density on-chip cache due to low standby power and high speed. However, the process variation of the Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) and access transistor poses a serious challenge to sensing. Nondestructive sensing suffers from reference resistance variation, whereas destructive sensing suffers from failures due to unoptimized selection of data and reference currents. Furthermore, the sense speed is tightly coupled with the reference/data current requirement. In this work, we study the process variation effect on a self-reference sensing scheme to eliminate bit-to-bit process variation in MTJ resistance. Read current modulation is proposed to overcome the failures due to process variation. Simulation results reveal <0.01% failures at the cost of 9ns sense time and 190uW power consumption.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number8
    JournalACM Journal on Emerging Technologies in Computing Systems
    Volume14
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Oct 2017

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Software
    • Hardware and Architecture
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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