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Models and Algorithmic Limits for an ECC-Based Approach to Hardening Sub-100-nm SRAMs

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10 Author(s)
Michael A. Bajura ; Southern California Viterbi Univ., Marina Del Rey ; Younes Boulghassoul ; Riaz Naseer ; Sandeepan DasGupta
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A mathematical bit error rate (BER) model for upsets in memories protected by error-correcting codes (ECCs) and scrubbing is derived. This model is compared with expected upset rates for sub-100-nm SRAM memories in space environments. Because sub-100-nm SRAM memory cells can be upset by a critical charge (Qcrit) of 1.1 fC or less, they may exhibit significantly higher upset rates than those reported in earlier technologies. Because of this, single-bit-correcting ECCs may become impractical due to memory scrubbing rate limitations. The overhead needed for protecting memories with a triple-bit-correcting ECC is examined relative to an approximate 2X ldquoprocess generationrdquo scaling penalty in area, speed, and power.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 4 )