Multiple-Bit-Upset and Single-Bit-Upset Resilient 8T SRAM Bitcell Layout with Divided Wordline Structure

Shusuke YOSHIMOTO  Takuro AMASHITA  Shunsuke OKUMURA  Hiroshi KAWAGUCHI  Masahiko YOSHIMOTO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E95-C   No.10   pp.1675-1681
Publication Date: 2012/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1587/transele.E95.C.1675
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Electronic Circuits
Keyword: 
SRAM,  soft error,  multiple-bit upset (MBU),  single-event upset (SEU),  error correction coding (ECC),  alpha particle,  neutron particle,  

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Summary: 
This paper presents a new 8T (8-transistor) SRAM cell layout mitigating multiple-bit upset (MBU) in a divided wordline structure. Because bitlines along unselected columns are not activated, the divided wordline structure eliminates a half-select problem and achieves low-power operation, which is often preferred for low-power/low-voltage applications. However, the conventional 8T SRAM with the divided wordline structure engenders MBUs because all bits in the same word are physically adjoining. Consequently, it is difficult to apply an error correction coding (ECC) technique to it. In this paper, we propose a new 8T cell layout pattern that separates internal latches in SRAM cells using both an n-well and a p-substrate. We saw that a SEU cross section of nMOS is 3.5–4.5 times higher than that of pMOS (SEU: single event upset; a cross section signifies a sensitive area to soft error effects). By using a soft-error simulator, iRoC TFIT, we confirmed that the proposed 8T cell has better neutron-induced MBU tolerance. The simulator includes soft-error measurement data in a commercial 65-nm process. The MBU in the proposed 8T SRAM is improved by 90.70% and the MBU soft error rate (SER) is decreased to 3.46 FIT at 0.9 V when ECC is implemented (FIT: failure in time). Additionally, we conducted Synopsys 3-D TCAD simulation, which indicates that the linear energy transfer (LET) threshold in SEU is also improved by 66% in the proposed 8T SRAM by a common-mode effect.