Optimized Two-Step Store Control for MTJ-Based Nonvolatile Flip-Flops to Minimize Store Energy Under Process and Temperature Variations

Kimiyoshi Usami, Daiki Yokoyama, Aika Kamei, Hideharu Amano, Kenta Suzuki, Keizo Hiraga, Kazuhiro Bessho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Introducing a magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ) into a flip-flop enables nonvolatile power gating (PG) but large store energy to MTJ is a critical concern. We propose an optimized two-step store (TSS) control to first perform a short store with an optimal time for all nonvolatile flip-flops (NVFFs) and then perform a long store only at the failed ones for reducing the store energy. As the key technologies to realize this, we present a verify-and-retryable NVFF (VR-NVFF) circuit enabling the TSS control and an analytical expression for the optimal short-store time (Tshort_opt) minimizing the store energy. To examine the effectiveness of the optimized TSS control and the validity of analytically derived Tshortopt, we implemented the TSS control on a coarse-grained reconfigurable array (CGRA)-based accelerator chip and fabricated it in a 40-nm CMOS/MTJ hybrid process technology. Results demonstrated that analytical Tshortopt showed a good agreement with the measured value (within 8% difference) under process and temperature variations. The TSS control with Tshortopt reduced the store energy to 0.32× of that of the conventional long-store-only technique. The break-even time (BET), which is the minimum power-gating time to get the gain in energy savings, was shortened to 0.51 0.7× by the TSS control, achieving the BET of 50 923 μ s in the range of 0 °C 80 °C.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan 1

Keywords

  • Analytical expression
  • energy minimization
  • magnetic tunneling junction (MTJ)
  • nonvolatile flip-flop (NVFF)
  • power gating (PG)
  • process variation
  • store energy
  • temperature variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Hardware and Architecture

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