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SRAM Assist Techniques for Operation in a Wide Voltage Range in 28-nm CMOS

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7 Author(s)
Zimmer, B. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng. & Comput. Sci., Univ. of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, USA ; Seng Oon Toh ; Huy Vo ; Yunsup Lee
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Reducing static random-access memory (SRAM) operational voltage (Vmin) can greatly improve energy efficiency, yet SRAM Vmin does not scale with technology due to increased process variability. Assist techniques have been shown to improve the operation of SRAM, but previous investigations of assist techniques at design time have either relied on static metrics that do not account for important transient effects or make specific assumptions about failure distributions. This paper uses importance sampling of dynamic failure metrics to quantify and analyze the effect of different assist techniques, array organization, and timing on Vmin at design time. This approach demonstrates that the most effective technique for reducing SRAM Vmin is the negative bitline write assist, resulting in a Vmin of 600 mV for a 28-nm LP process in the typical corner.

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Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 12 )