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Embedded Memories for Nano-Scale VLSIs

PDF Kevin Zhang Advancement of semiconductor technology has driven the rapid growth of very large scale integrated (VLSI) systems for increasingly broad applications, incl- ing high-end and mobile computing, consumer electronics such as 3D gaming, multi-function or smart phone, and various set-top players and ubiquitous sensor and medical devices. To meet the increasing demand for higher performance and lower power consumption in many different system applications, it is often required to have a large amount of on-die or embedded memory to support the need of data bandwidth in a system. The varieties of embedded memory in a given system have alsobecome increasingly more complex, ranging fromstatictodynamic and volatile to nonvolatile. Among embedded memories, six-transistor (6T)-based static random access memory (SRAM) continues to play a pivotal role in nearly all VLSI systems due to its superior speed and full compatibility with logic process technology. But as the technology scaling continues, SRAM design is facing severe challenge in mainta- ing suf?cient cell stability margin under relentless area scaling. Meanwhile, rapid expansion in mobile application, including new emerging application in sensor and medical devices, requires far more aggressive voltage scaling to meet very str- gent power constraint. Many innovative circuit topologies and techniques have been extensively explored in recent years to address these challenges.

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