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Addressing the Thermal Issues of STT-MRAM From Compact Modeling to Design Techniques

Liuyang Zhang 1 Yuanqing Cheng 1 Kang Wang 1 Lionel Torres 2 Youguang Zhang 1 Aida Todri-Sanial 3
2 ADAC - ADAptive Computing
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
3 SmartIES - Smart Integrated Electronic Systems
LIRMM - Laboratoire d'Informatique de Robotique et de Microélectronique de Montpellier
Abstract : Spin transfer torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) possesses many desirable properties such as nonvolatility, fast access speed, unlimited endurance, and good compatibility with CMOS fabrication process. ITRS has highlighted the potential of STT-MRAM as one of the candidates for the next-generation universal memory technology. However, both the behaviors of the Magnetic Tunnel Junction (MTJ) and the CMOS access transistor, which are two basic elements of STT-MRAM, are generally temperature dependent, threatening the reliability, and performance of STT-MRAM under thermal fluctuations. To investigate the reliability and performance of STT-MRAM under the temperature variation, we developed a thermal model for the perpendicular magnetic anisotropy MTJ device. With the developed model, thermal behaviors and performance of the hybrid MTJ/CMOS circuits can be characterized and thermal optimization techniques can then be studied. Afterward, a thermal-aware sensing circuit is proposed as a case study to exploit the thermal characteristics for improving STT-MRAM read reliability under the temperature variations. Our simulation results show that the proposed sensing circuit can distinctly reduce the read error rate under thermal fluctuations compared with the state-of-the-art designs.
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https://hal-lirmm.ccsd.cnrs.fr/lirmm-01880065
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Liuyang Zhang, Yuanqing Cheng, Kang Wang, Lionel Torres, Youguang Zhang, et al.. Addressing the Thermal Issues of STT-MRAM From Compact Modeling to Design Techniques. IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2018, 17 (2), pp.345-352. ⟨10.1109/TNANO.2018.2803340⟩. ⟨lirmm-01880065⟩

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