Floating-ECC: Dynamic Repositioning of Error Correcting Code Bits for Extending the Lifetime of STT-RAM Caches

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Spin-Transfer Torque RAM (STT-RAM) is a promising alternative to SRAM for implementing on-chip L2 and L3 caches. One of the most critical challenges in STT-RAM is reliability due to limited write endurance, which results in insufficient lifetime, as well as various types of errors. Previous studies have focused on either presenting various cache architectures/management techniques to improve the lifetime of STT-RAM caches or utilizing different Error Correcting Codes (ECCs) to protect against the permanent and transient errors. However, there is no quantitative analysis in the literature to determine the impact of ECCs on the lifetime of the STT-RAM caches. This paper formulates this impact and demonstrates that ECCs shorten the lifetime of STT-RAM cache lines by more than 50 percent due to ECCs high write activity. Then, we propose the Floating-ECC architecture for increasing the lifetime of the STT-RAM caches. The main idea is to evenly distribute the ECC write activity over all bits of cache lines by periodically relocating the ECC bits inside the cache lines. The simulation results for the most conventional ECC scheme, i.e., interleaved Single Error Correction-Double Error Detection (SEC-DED), show that Floating-ECC increases the lifetime of L2 and L3 caches by more than 318 percent and 254 percent, respectively.
Publisher
IEEE COMPUTER SOC
Issue Date
2016-12
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON COMPUTERS, v.65, no.12, pp.3661 - 3675

ISSN
0018-9340
DOI
10.1109/TC.2016.2557326
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/218299
Appears in Collection
CS-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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