Case ID: M07-097P

Published: 2011-01-25 14:34:45

Last Updated: 1677134812


Lawrence Clark
Giby Samson

Technology categories

Physical ScienceSemiconductor Devices

Licensing Contacts

Shen Yan
Director of Intellectual Property - PS
[email protected]

Dynamic CMOS RAM Decoder with Reduced Access Time, Standby and Active power Dissipation

Random Access Memories (RAM) are read/write memory devices
that can read data from or write data to any of its memory addresses. Static
random access memories (SRAM) store data in flip-flops, which retain data as
long as the SRAM is powered up. SRAMs are one of the VLSI circuit types most
amenable to leakage power mitigation techniques. Most of these techniques
achieve this objective by focusing on SRAM array leakage. However, up to half of
the total SRAM transistor width may be comprised of peripheral circuitry. These
peripheral circuits used to perform decode, sense, and write functions are
usually constructed based on static NAND and NOR gates. Conventional static CMOS
decoders dissipate a significant amount of power, particularly in unselected
banks. The decoding step also forms a significant portion of the read access
time. Finally, transistor variation is increasing in modern processes, which is
manifested as increased timing variation, making conventional, but low access
time, SRAM timing more difficult.

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a
fully dynamic decoder with less delay and dynamic power dissipation than
conventional designs. The leakage power dissipation is reduced by utilizing the
stack effect or dynamically applied PMOS power gating. The decoder also has less
clock node capacitive loading and very low capacitive loading to the address
lines enabling faster low power address delivery. The address line activity is
shielded from the decoder internal nodes by the input stage, thereby providing
an activity factor of zero in unselected banks. The power saved by this
technique is magnified and forms a significant portion of the total power
consumption in large SRAMs with several banks. A prototype chip fabricated
implementing this technique has been tested and provided reliable and consistent
results that met the above mentioned performance standards.

Potential Applications

  • SRAM and DRAM fabrication
  • Flash memory storage devices
  • Solid state memory devices such as mp3

Benefits and Advantages

  • Significant improvement in power dissipation ? up to 5
    times less than state of the art techniques

  • Offers 50% better energy delay
  • Reliable performance in deep submicron processes
  • Provides an activity factor of zero in unselected banks

  • Improves access time and critical race free sense timing

  • Allows faster lower power address delivery