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Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

ZRAM-Zero capacitor RAM

Jennis Thomas
Roll No:EPAHECS025
S7 Computer Science and Engineering

Government Engineering College


Sreekrishnapuram Palakkad

November 18, 2010


Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Introduction
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Types of RAM
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

SRAM

• Stores bits in memory cells composed of flip flops

• Each cell which can store a single bit requires 6 transistors

• Does not need to be refreshed periodically as flip flop retains


the data

• Faster access time compared to DRAM, therefore used as


caches mostly
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

SRAM structure
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

DRAM

• More costly in terms of cost per bits compared to SRAM due


to low chip density

• Each cell requires a capacitor (which stores a bit charge) and


a transistor

• Needs to be refreshed every milliseconds to retain data


because the charge of the capacitor leaks.
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

A typical DRAM cell


Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Z-RAM

• Its a hybrid RAM having the qualities of SRAM combined


with the chip density of DRAM
• It uses a transistor (same as DRAM) but does not need a
capacitor to store charge
• Its the cheapest RAM as it uses just a transistor and no
additional circuitry
• Its fabrication is easier
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Z-RAM
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Structure of ZRAM
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Writing a ’1’to ZRAM

• Passing a current through the channel builds up excess


positive charges in the transistor
• Decreases the threshold voltage and the current flowing
through the channel this is called Impact Ionization.
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Writing a ’0’to ZRAM

• Applying a bias to transistor channel removes the holes


through the junction, writing binary 0. This is reffered to as
Hole Removal
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Reading from a Z-RAM

• Reading a Z-RAM bit cell is similar to reading any DRAM


cell. The chip applies a small pulse to the cell’s transistor and
uses a sense amplifier to compare the resulting current flow
with the current in a reference cell.
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Operating Principles

• The memory technology uses the technique of impact


ionzation for writing ’1’
• It uses the technique of forward biasing body/drain junction
to write ’0’ state known as hole removal.
• During write operation the transistor is in ON state
• Power consumption is more
• Writing mechanism provides memory windows of 5 to
10uA/um
• Alternate writing mechanism is low power operation and
larger memory windows of the range 40uA/um
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Transistor ON
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

• The above fig shows the current flowing through a cell with a
standard write/read operations
• Writing a ’1’ or ’0’ state consumes 50uA/um
• A memory window of 10uA/um is typically obtained
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Transistor OFF
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

• To write ’1’ while keeping the transistor in it’s OFF state we


can use band to band tunneling
• By applying a negative gate and a positive drain voltage holes
are created in the floating body and state ’1’ is generated
• To write a ’0’ state a combination of negative gate and drain
voltages can be used.
• In the OFF state no current flows through the cell
• A large memory window of 40uA/um is obtained.
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Fabrication Techniques

• Silicon on insulator technology (SOI) refers to the use of a


layered silicon-insulator-silicon substrate in place of
conventional silicon substrates in semiconductor
manufacturing
• speeds up the circuit by 30%
• As transistors shrink there is increase in leakage current,the
insulator blocks this leakage current.
• System-on-a-chip or system on chip (SoC or SOC) refers to
integrating all components of a computer or other electronic
system into a single integrated circuit (chip)
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Comparison of different RAMS


Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Merits

• ZRAM read/write performance is far better than conventional


DRAM
• ZRAM is twice as dense as conventional DRAM and about 5
times denser than SRAM
• Its fabrication is quite simple
• Soft Error Rate is comparatively lower in ZRAM.
• Lower power consumption
• Lithography friendly
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Demerits

• It isn’t fast enough to replace SRAM in L1 cache

• SOI substrate is costlier to be implemented

• Requires a large investment in new fabrication

• Same latency as DRAM. Latency is the delay incurred when a


sysytem tries to access data from memory

• Z-RAM is still a volatile memory


Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Latest Developments
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Latest Developments

• Hynix Semiconductors redesigned ZRAM so that it can be


built on the same kind of wafer used for DRAM
• Previous devices required expensive speciality SOI wafers
which drove up the cost
• In the new design, the transistors are aligned vertically so that
the gates are on either side and the junctions are at top and
bottom
• This provides the same isolation and same floating body effect
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Advantages of New Design

• This design resulted in operating voltages of 0.5V which is


50-75% lower than any other floating body memory device
• It makes the device compatible with existing power supplies
• This makes ZRAM the cheapest RAM
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

Conclusion

• In today’s world, where progress is being made at planetary


velocities in all spheres, ZRAM is a low cost and high
performance memory technology. It can even replace SRAMs
in certain applications such as high density cache memories
for microprocessors, game processors and high performance
SOCs in general. Intel and Toshiba are pursuing floating body
memories. Hynix Semiconductors expects to make samples for
testing in commercial devices within two years
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

OVERVIEW
Introduction
Types of RAM
Z-RAM
Operating principles
Fabrication Techniques
Comparison
Merits
Demerits
Latest Developments
Conclusion
References
Introduction Types of RAM Z-RAM Operating principles Fabrication Techniques Comparison Merits Demerits Latest Develop

References

• Z-RAM takes on DRAM,pg.14,IEEE Spectrum,July,2010


• Winner: Masters of Memory,IEEE Spectrum,January,2007
• Z-RAM to take on DRAM with Hynix Deal,IEEE Spectrum
• International SOI Conference,2006 IEEE, issue date 2-5 Oct.
2006,pg.111-112