Memory accesses are the bottleneck of modern computer systems both in terms of performance and energy. This barrier, known as "the Memory Wall", can be break by utilizing memristors. Memristors are novel passive electrical components with varying resistance based on the charge passing through the device . In this abstract, the term "memristor" covers also an extension of the definition, memristive devices, which vary their resistance depending on a state variable . While memristors are naturally used as memory cells, they can also be used for other applications, such as logic circuits .
We present a novel architecture that redefines the relationship between the memory and the processor by enabling data processing within the memory itself. Our architecture is based on a memristive memory array, in which we perform two basic logic operations: Imply (material implication)  and False.
This study presents an energy-efficient ultra-low voltage standard-cell based memory in 28nm FD-SOI. The storage element (standard-cell latch) is replaced with a full- custom designed latch with 50 % less area. Error-free operation is demonstrated down to 450mV @ 9MHz. By utilizing body bias (BB) @ VDD = 0.5 V performance spans from 20 MHz @ BB=0V to 110MHz @ BB=1V.
Lowering the supply voltage of Static Random-Access Memories (SRAM) is key to reduce power consumption, however since this badly affects the circuit performances, it might lead to various forms of loss of functionality. In this work, we present silicon results showing significant yield improvement, achieved with write and read assist techniques on a 6T high- density bitcell manufactured in 40 nm technology. Data is successfully modeled with an original spice-based method that allows reproducing at high computing efficiency the effects of static negative bitline write assist, the effects of static wordline underdrive read assist, while the effects of read ability losses due to low-voltage operations on the yield are not taken into account in the model.
The energy efficiency of today’s microcontrollers is supported by the extensive usage of low-power mechanisms. A full power-down requires in many cases a complex, and maybe error prone, administration scheme, because data from the volatile memory have to be stored in a flash based back- up memory. New types of non-volatile memory, e.g. in RRAM technology, are faster and consumes a fraction of the energy compared to flash technology. This paper evaluates power gating for WSN with RRAM as back-up memory.
Three-dimensional (3D) integration using through- silicon via (TSV) has been used for memory designs. Content addressable memory (CAM) is an important component in digital systems. In this paper, we propose an evaluation tool for 3D CAMs, which can aid the designer to explore the delay and power of various partitioning strategies. Delay, power, and energy models of 3D CAM with respect to different architectures are built as well.
This paper briefly discusses a new architecture, Computation-In-Memory (CIM Architecture), which performs “processing-in-memory”. It is based on the integration of storage and computation in the same physical location (crossbar topology) and the use of non-volatile resistive-switching technology (memristive devices or memristors in short) instead of CMOS technology. The architecture has the potential of improving the energy-delay product, computing efficiency and performance area by at least two orders of magnitude.
Multiple-channel die-stacked DRAMs have been used for maximizing the performance and minimizing the power of memory access in 2.5D/3D system chips. Stacked DRAM dies can be used as a cache for the processor die in 2.5D/3D system chips. Typically, modern processor system-on-chips (SOCs) have three-level caches, L1, L2, and L3. Could the DRAM cache be used to replace which level of caches? In this paper, we derive an inequality which can aid the designer to check if the designed DRAM cache can provide better performance than the L3 cache. Also, design considerations of DRAM caches for meet the inequality are discussed. We find that a dilemma of the DRAM cache access time and associativity exists for providing better performance than the L3 cache. Organizing multiple channels into a DRAM cache is proposed to cope with the dilemma.
3D integration of solid-state memories and logic, as demonstrated by the Hybrid Memory Cube (HMC), offers major opportunities for revisiting near-memory computation and gives new hope to mitigate the power and performance losses caused by the “memory wall”. In this paper we present the first exploration steps towards design of the Smart Memory Cube (SMC), a new Processor-in-Memory (PIM) architecture that enhances the capabilities of the logic-base (LoB) in HMC. An accurate simulation environment has been developed, along with a full featured software stack. All offloading and dynamic overheads caused by the operating system, cache coherence, and memory management are considered, as well. Benchmarking results demonstrate up to 2X performance improvement in comparison with the host SoC, and around 1.5X against a similar host-side accelerator. Moreover, by scaling down the voltage and frequency of PIM’s processor it is possible to reduce energy by around 70% and 55% in comparison with the host and the accelerator, respectively.
The capacity of embedded memory on LSIs has kept increasing. It is important to reduce the leakage power of embedded memory for low-power LSIs. In fact, the ITRS predicts that the leakage power in embedded memory will account for 40% of all power consumption by 2024 . A spin transfer torque magneto-resistance random access memory (STT-MRAM) is promising for use as non-volatile memory to reduce the leakage power. It is useful because it can function at low voltages and has a lifetime of over 1016 write cycles . In addition, the STT-MRAM technology has a smaller bit cell than an SRAM. Making the STT-MRAM is suitable for use in high-density products [3–7]. The STT-MRAM uses magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ). The MTJ has two states: a parallel state and an anti-parallel state. These states mean that the magnetization direction of the MTJ’s layers are the same or different. The directions pair determines the MTJ’s magneto- resistance value. The states of MTJ can be changed by the current flowing. The MTJ resistance becomes low in the parallel state and high in the anti-parallel state. The MTJ potentially operates at less than 0.4 V . In other hands, it is difficult to design peripheral circuitry for an STT-MRAM array at such a low voltage. In this paper, we propose a counter-based read circuit that functions at 0.4 V, which is tolerant of process variation and temperature fluctuation.
Magnetic spin-based memory technologies are a promising solution to overcome the incoming limits of microelectronics. Nevertheless, the long write latency and high write energy of these memory technologies compared to SRAM make it difficult to use these for fast microprocessor memories, such as L1- Caches. However, the recent advent of the Spin Orbit Torque (SOT) technology changed the story: indeed, it potentially offers a writing speed comparable to SRAM with a much better density as SRAM and an infinite endurance, paving the way to a new paradigm in processor architectures, with introduction of non- volatility in all the levels of the memory hierarchy towards full normally-off and instant-on processors. This paper presents a full design flow, from device to system, allowing to evaluate the potential of SOT for microprocessor cache memories and very encouraging simulation results using this framework.