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We analyze Schmitt-Trigger (ST)-based differential-sensing static random access memory (SRAM) bitcells for ultralow-voltage operation. The ST-based SRAM bitcells address the fundamental conflicting design requirement of the read versus write operation of a conventional 6T bitcell. The ST operation gives better read-stability as well as better write-ability compared to the standard 6T bitcell. The proposed ST bitcells incorporate a built-in feedback mechanism, achieving process variation tolerance - a must for future nano-scaled technology nodes. A detailed comparison of different bitcells under iso-area condition shows that the ST-2 bitcell can operate at lower supply voltages. Measurement results on ten test-chips fabricated in 130-nm CMOS technology show that the proposed ST-2 bitcell gives 1.6× higher read static noise margin, 2× higher write-trip-point and 120-mV lower read-Vmin compared to the iso-area 6T bitcell.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:20 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2012