A body-voltage-sensing-based short pulse reading circuit for spin-torque transfer RAMs (STT-RAMs)

Fengbo Ren, Henry Park, Richard Dorrance, Yuta Toriyama, C. K.Ken Yang, Dejan Marković

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

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

With scaling of CMOS and Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) devices, conventional low-current reading techniques for STT-RAMs face challenges in achieving reliability and performance improvements that are expected from scaled devices. The challenges arise from the increasing variability of the CMOS sensing current and the reduction in MTJ switching current. This paper proposes a short-pulse reading circuit, based on a body-voltage sensing scheme to mitigate the scaling issues. Compared to existing sensing techniques, our technique shows substantially higher read margin (RM) despite a much shorter sensing time. A narrow current pulse applied to an MTJ significantly reduces the probability of read disturbance. The RM analysis is validated by Monte-Carlo simulations in a 65-nm CMOS technology with both CMOS and MTJ variations considered. Simulation results show that our technique is able to provide over 300 mV RM at a GHz frequency across process-voltage-temperature (PVT) variations, while the reference designs require 4.3 ns and 2.3 ns sensing time for a 200 mV RM, respectively. The effective read energy per bit required by the proposed sensing circuit is around 195 ft in the nominal case.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED 2012
Pages275-282
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 16 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event13th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED 2012 - Santa Clara, CA, United States
Duration: Mar 19 2012Mar 21 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED
ISSN (Print)1948-3287
ISSN (Electronic)1948-3295

Other

Other13th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED 2012
CountryUnited States
CitySanta Clara, CA
Period3/19/123/21/12

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Keywords

  • Emerging memory
  • STT-RAM
  • body-voltage sensing
  • read margin
  • sensing circuit
  • short-pulse reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

Cite this

Ren, F., Park, H., Dorrance, R., Toriyama, Y., Yang, C. K. K., & Marković, D. (2012). A body-voltage-sensing-based short pulse reading circuit for spin-torque transfer RAMs (STT-RAMs). In Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED 2012 (pp. 275-282). [6187506] (Proceedings - International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design, ISQED). https://doi.org/10.1109/ISQED.2012.6187506