Application-Specific Selection of 6T SRAM Cells Offering Superior Performance and Quality with a Triple-Threshold-Voltage CMOS Technology

Hong Zhu and Volkan Kursun

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Conventional six-transistor (6T) memory cell has an intrinsic data stability problem due to directly-accessed storage nodes during a read operation. The data stability issue becomes more severe with increasing variability and decreasing supply voltage in scaled CMOS technologies. Conventional techniques to enhance the data stability of 6T memory cells tend to sacrifice other important figures of merit, such as area and write ability. 6T SRAM circuits with higher data stability are presented in this paper. The overall quality is enhanced and high memory integration density is maintained by employing a multi-threshold-voltage CMOS technology. An electrical performance metric is evaluated to compare various memory design options targeting different applications. A high-threshold-voltage 6T memory cell is recommended for portable devices where lower energy consumption and longer battery lifetime are critically important. Alternatively, a triple-threshold-voltage 6T SRAM cell is recommended for robust memory operation in applications with aggressive speed requirement.