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Computational requirements in highly energy constrained applications are driving the need for ultra-low-power processors. In such devices SRAMs pose a primary energy limitation. This paper analyzes SRAM energy in practical applications using state-of-the-art power-management techniques. The design targets and array biasing for energy minimization are developed. Compared with generic logic, these are characterized by the important difference that SRAMs generally need to retain data. This restricts the use of power-gating for leakage elimination, and thus this paper considers the application of low-leakage data-retention biasing during the idle-mode. The resulting energy tradeoffs have important distinctions, and these are analyzed in the presence of practical variation levels.
Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:19 , Issue: 9 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2011