This paper explores non-volatile cache memories implemented by spin-transfer torque magnetic random access memories (STT-MRAMs) based on state-of-the-art perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) and FinFETs. The use of double-barrier MTJs with two reference layers (DMTJs) is benchmarked against solutions relying on single-barrier MTJs (SMTJs) at different technology nodes (from 28-nm down to 20-nm). Our study is carried out through a cross-layer simulation platform, starting from the device- up to the system-level. Our results point out that, thanks to the reduced switching currents, DMTJ-based STT-MRAMs allow decreasing write access time of about 63% as compared to their SMTJ-based counterparts. This is achieved while assuring reduced energy consumption under both write (−42%) and read (−28%) accesses, lower area occupancy (−40%) and smaller leakage power (−25%), at the only cost of worsened read access time. This makes DMTJ-based STT-MRAM a promising candidate to replace conventional semiconductor-based cache memory for the next-generation of low-power microprocessors with on-chip non-volatility.

Assessment of STT-MRAMs based on double-barrier MTJs for cache applications by means of a device-to-system level simulation framework

Garzon E.;De Rose R.;Crupi F.;Lanuzza M.
2020

Abstract

This paper explores non-volatile cache memories implemented by spin-transfer torque magnetic random access memories (STT-MRAMs) based on state-of-the-art perpendicular magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) and FinFETs. The use of double-barrier MTJs with two reference layers (DMTJs) is benchmarked against solutions relying on single-barrier MTJs (SMTJs) at different technology nodes (from 28-nm down to 20-nm). Our study is carried out through a cross-layer simulation platform, starting from the device- up to the system-level. Our results point out that, thanks to the reduced switching currents, DMTJ-based STT-MRAMs allow decreasing write access time of about 63% as compared to their SMTJ-based counterparts. This is achieved while assuring reduced energy consumption under both write (−42%) and read (−28%) accesses, lower area occupancy (−40%) and smaller leakage power (−25%), at the only cost of worsened read access time. This makes DMTJ-based STT-MRAM a promising candidate to replace conventional semiconductor-based cache memory for the next-generation of low-power microprocessors with on-chip non-volatility.
Cache memory; Device-to-system simulation framework; Double-barrier magnetic tunnel junction (DMTJ); FinFET; STT-MRAM
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/303195
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