Short Term Cell-Flipping Technique for Mitigating SNM Degradation Due to NBTI

Yuji KUNITAKE  Toshinori SATO  Hiroto YASUURA  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E94-C   No.4   pp.520-529
Publication Date: 2011/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E94.C.520
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Circuits and Design Techniques for Advanced Large Scale Integration)
Category: 
Keyword: 
NBTI,  SRAM,  static noise margin,  stress probability,  register file,  cache memory,  

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Summary: 
Negative Bias Temperature Instability (NBTI) is one of the major reliability problems in advanced technologies. NBTI causes threshold voltage shift in a PMOS transistor. When the PMOS transistor is biased to negative voltage, threshold voltage shifts to negatively. On the other hand, the threshold voltage recovers if the PMOS transistor is positively biased. In an SRAM cell, due to NBTI, threshold voltage degrades in the load PMOS transistors. The degradation has the impact on Static Noise Margin (SNM), which is a measure of read stability of a 6-T SRAM cell. In this paper, we discuss the relationship between NBTI degradation in an SRAM cell and the dynamic stress and recovery condition. There are two important characteristics. One is a stress probability, which is defined as the rate that the PMOS transistor is negatively biased. The other is a stress and recovery cycle, which is defined as the switching interval of an SRAM value. In our observations, in order to mitigate the NBTI degradation, the stress probability should be small and the stress and recovery cycle should be shorter than 10 msec. Based on the observations, we propose a novel cell-flipping technique, which makes the stress probability close to 50%. In addition, we show results of the case studies, which apply the cell-flipping technique to register file and cache memories.