Area-Efficient Multi-Port SRAMs for On-Chip Data-Storage with High Random-Access Bandwidth and Large Storage Capacity

Hans Jurgen MATTAUSCH  Koji KISHI  Takayuki GYOHTEN  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E84-C   No.3   pp.410-417
Publication Date: 2001/03/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Integrated Electronics
multiple-ports,  SRAM,  cache,  access bandwidth,  

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The recent trend towards highly parallel on-chip data processing, as e.g. in single-chip processors with parallel execution capability of multiple instructions, leads to the requirement of on-chip data storage with high random-access bandwidth, parallel access capability and large capacity. The first two requirements call for the application of multi-ported memories. However, the conventional architecture, based on multi-port storage cells for each bit, cannot efficiently realize the large storage capacity, because cell area explodes due to a quadratic increase with port number (N). A promising method for obtaining area efficiency is to increase the size of the smallest unit with N-port capability, e.g. by introducing N-port capability on the level of blocks of 1-port cells and not for each cell. We report a quantitative analysis of this method for the SRAM case, which is based on design data in a 0.5 µm, 2-metal CMOS technology. Achievable area-reduction magnitudes in comparison to the conventional architecture are found to be enormous and to accelerate as a function of N. Reduction factors to areas < 1/2, < 1/5, < 1/14 and < 1/30 are estimated for 4, 8, 16 and 32 ports, respectively. Since the demerit of the proposed approach is an increased access-rejection probability, a trade-off between area reduction and allowable access-rejection probability is always necessary for practical applications. This is discussed for the application of multi-port cache memories.