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Exploring the Potential of Phase Change Memories as an Alternative to DRAM Technology

Authors: Venkataraman Krishnaswami, Venkatasubramanian Viswanathan

Abstract:

Scalability poses a severe threat to the existing DRAM technology. The capacitors that are used for storing and sensing charge in DRAM are generally not scaled beyond 42nm. This is because; the capacitors must be sufficiently large for reliable sensing and charge storage mechanism. This leaves DRAM memory scaling in jeopardy, as charge sensing and storage mechanisms become extremely difficult. In this paper we provide an overview of the potential and the possibilities of using Phase Change Memory (PCM) as an alternative for the existing DRAM technology. The main challenges that we encounter in using PCM are, the limited endurance, high access latencies, and higher dynamic energy consumption than that of the conventional DRAM. We then provide an overview of various methods, which can be employed to overcome these drawbacks. Hybrid memories involving both PCM and DRAM can be used, to achieve good tradeoffs in access latency and storage density. We conclude by presenting, the results of these methods that makes PCM a potential replacement for the current DRAM technology.

Keywords: DRAM, Phase Change Memory.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1074521

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References:


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