Uncovering Phase Change Memory Energy Limits by
Sub-Nanosecond Probing of Power Dissipation Dynamics
Phase change memory (PCM) is one of the leading candidates for neuromorphic hardware and has recently matured as a storage class memory. Yet, energy and power consumption remain key challenges for this technology because part of the PCM device must be self-heated to its melting temperature during reset. Here, it is shown that this reset energy can be reduced by nearly two orders of magnitude by minimizing the pulse width. A high-speed measurement setup is utilized to probe the energy consumption in PCM cells with varying pulse width (0.3–40 nanoseconds)
and uncover the power dissipation dynamics.
The experimental setup consisted of a fast pulse generator (PG) Active Technologies Pulse Rider PG-1072 connected in series with the PCM device and a high-speed oscilloscope.
The PG-1072 pulse generator can generate sub-nanosecond pulses down to 300ps reaching a voltage amplitude of 5Vpp on 50 ohm load and fast rise and fall time smaller than 70 ps. The fast repetition rate up to 800MHz and the 10ps step resolution, allow the instrument to adjust the pulse width from 300ps up to greater than 1 second.
The full paper is available HERE
Ferrara – Italy, 14.07.2021