Rescuing Uncorrectable Fault Patterns in On-chip Memories Through Error Pattern Transformation

  • Authors:
    Henry Duwe (UIUC), Xun Jian (UIUC), Rakesh Kumar (UIUC)
    Publication ID:
    P084534
    Publication Type:
    Paper
    Received Date:
    23-Jun-2015
    Last Edit Date:
    24-Jun-2015
    Research:
    2385.001 (University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign)

Abstract

Voltage scaling can effectively reduce processor power, but reduces the reliability of SRAM cells in on-chip memories. To enable reliable memory operations at low voltages, many works propose using error correcting codes (ECCs). These ECCs must provide both high error coverage and low correction latency. Unfortunately, existing ECCs provide either low error coverage or high correction latency. We observe that the number of errors correctable by many low-latency ECCs differs widely depending on the error patterns of the protected words. We propose adaptively reordering the logical to physical bit mapping according to known fault patterns in the physical word. This reordering transforms many uncorrectable error patterns into correctable error patterns and, therefore, improves ECC error coverage. Our evaluations for an L1 cache show that applying our proposal to a low-latency ECC can tolerate 26.7x higher bit failure rate than the best low-latency ECC baseline alone with no additional cycles.

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