Impact and Mitigation of Sense Amplifier Aging Degradation Using Realistic Workloads

Daniël Kraak, Mottaqiallah Taouil, Innocent Agbo, Said Hamdioui, Pieter Weckx, Francky Catthoor, Stefan Cosemans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Designers typically add design margins to compensate for time-zero variability (due to process variation) and time-dependent (due to, e.g., bias temperature instability) variability. These variabilities become worse with scaling, which leads to larger design margin requirements. As an alternative, mitigation schemes can be applied to counteract the variability. This paper investigates the impact of aging on the offset voltage of the memory's sense amplifier (SA). For the analysis, the degradation of the SAs in the L1 data and instruction caches of an ARM processor is quantified while using realistic workloads extracted from the SPEC CPU2006 Benchmark suite. Furthermore, the effect of our mitigation scheme, i.e., an online control circuit that balances the SA workload, is analyzed. The simulation results show that the mitigation scheme reduces the offset voltage degradation due to aging with up to 40% for the benchmarks, depending on the stress conditions (temperature, voltage, and workload).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3464-3472
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aging
  • memory
  • mitigation
  • offset voltage
  • sense amplifier (SA)
  • static random-access memory
  • time-dependent variability
  • time-zero variability


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