Thermal profiling in CMOS/memristor hybrid architectures

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Title: Thermal profiling in CMOS/memristor hybrid architectures
Author: Merkel, Cory
Abstract: CMOS/memristor hybrid architectures combine conventional CMOS processing elements with thin-film memristor-based crossbar circuits for high-density reconfigurable systems. These architectures have received an explosive growth in research over the past few years due to the first practical demonstration of a thin-film memristor in 2008. The reliability and lifetimes of both the CMOS and memristor partitions of these architectures are severely affected by temperature variations across the chip. Therefore, it is expected that dynamic thermal management (DTM) mechanisms will be needed to improve their reliability and lifetime. This thesis explores one aspect of DTM--thermal profiling--in a CMOS/memristor memory architecture. A temperature sensing resistive random access memory (TSRRAM) was designed. Temperature information is extracted from the TSRRAM by measuring the write time of thin-film memristors. Active and passive sensing mechanisms are also introduced as means for DTM algorithms to determine the thermal profile of the chip. Crosstherm, a simulation framework, was developed to analyze the effects of temperature variations in CMOS/memristor architectures. The TSRRAM design was simulated using the Crosstherm framework for four CMOS processor benchmarks. Passive sensing produced a mean absolute sensor error across all benchmarks of 2.14 K. The size of the DTM unit's memory was also shown to have a significant impact on the accuracy of extracted thermal data during passive sensing. Active sensing was also demonstrated to show the effect of dynamic adjustment of sensor resolution on the accuracy of hotspot temperature estimations.
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Date: 2011-05

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