Content-aware bit shuffling for maximizing PCM endurance

Miseon Han, Youngsun Han, Seon Wook Kim, Hokyoon Lee, Il Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, phase change memory (PCM) has been emerging as a strong replacement for DRAM owing to its many advantages such as nonvolatility, high capacity, low leakage power, and so on. However, PCM is still restricted for use as main memory because of its limited write endurance. There have been many methods introduced to resolve the problem by either reducing or spreading out bit flips. Although many previous studies have significantly contributed to reducing bit flips, they still have the drawback that lower bits are flipped more often than higher bits because the lower bits frequently change their bit values. Also, interblock wear-leveling schemes are commonly employed for spreading out bit flips by shifting input data, but they increase the number of bit flips per write. In this article, we propose a noble content-aware bit shuffling (CABS) technique that minimizes bit flips and evenly distributes them to maximize the lifetime of PCM at the bit level. We also introduce two additional optimizations, namely, addition of an inversion bit and use of an XOR key, to further reduce bit flips. Moreover, CABS is capable of recovering from stuck-at faults by restricting the change in values of stuck-at cells. Experimental results showed that CABS outperformed the existing state-of-the-art methods in the aspect of PCM lifetime extension with minimal overhead. CABS achieved up to 48.5% enhanced lifetime compared to the data comparison write (DCW) method only with a few metadata bits. Moreover, CABS obtained approximately 9.7% of improved write throughput than DCW because it significantly reduced bit flips and evenly distributed them. Also, CABS reduced about 5.4% of write dynamic energy compared to DCW. Finally, we have also confirmed that CABS is fully applicable to BCH codes as it was able to reduce the maximum number of bit flips in metadata cells by 32.1%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number48
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May


  • Bit flips
  • Bit shuffling
  • Endurance
  • Lifetime
  • PCM
  • Stuck-at fault

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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