Publication
SC 2013
Conference paper

Practical nonvolatile multilevel-cell phase change memory

View publication

Abstract

Multilevel-cell (MLC) phase change memory (PCM) may provide both high capacity main memory and faster-than-Flash persistent storage. But slow growth in cell resistance with time, resistance drift, can cause transient errors in MLC-PCM. Drift errors increase with time, and prior work suggests refresh before the cell loses data. The need for refresh makes MLC-PCM volatile, taking away a key advantage. Based on the observation that most drift errors occur in a particular state in four-level-cell PCM, we propose to change from four levels to three levels, eliminating the most vulnerable state. This simple change lowers cell drift error rates by many orders of magnitude: three-level-cell PCM can retain data without power for more than ten years. With optimized encoding/decoding and a wearout tolerance mechanism, we can narrow the capacity gap between three-level and four-level cells. These techniques together enable low-cost, high-performance, genuinely nonvolatile MLC-PCM. Copyright 2013 ACM.

Date

17 Nov 2013

Publication

SC 2013

Share