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Exploring the vulnerability of CMPs to soft errors with 3D stacked non-volatile memory

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4 Author(s)
Guangyu Sun ; Center for Energy-Efficient, Comput. & Applic., Peking Univ., Beijing, China ; Kursun, E. ; Rivers, J.A. ; Yuan Xie

Spin-transfer Torque Random Access Memory (STT-RAM) emerges for on-chip memory in microprocessor architectures. Thanks to the magnetic field based storage STT-RAM cells have immunity to radiation induced soft errors that affect electrical charge based data storage, which is a major challenge in SRAM based caches in current microprocessors. In this study we explore the soft error resilience benefits and design trade offs of 3D-stacked STT-RAM for multi-core architectures. We use 3D stacking as an enabler for modular integration of STT-RAM caches with minimum disruption in the baseline processor design flow, while providing further interconnectivity and capacity advantages. We take an in-depth look at alternative replacement schemes in terms of performance, power, temperature, and reliability trade-offs to capture the multi-variable optimization challenges microprocessor architectures face. We analyze and compare the characteristics of STT-RAM, SRAM, and DRAM alternatives for various levels of the cache hierarchy in terms of reliability.

Published in:

Computer Design (ICCD), 2011 IEEE 29th International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-12 Oct. 2011