Reducing dram refresh rate using retention time aware universal hashing redundancy repair

Kyu Hyun Choi, Jaeyung Jun, Minseong Kim, Seon Wook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As the device capacity of Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) increases, refresh operation becomes a significant contributory factor toward total power consumption and memory throughput of the device. To reduce the problems associated with the refresh operation, a multi-rate refresh technique that changes the refresh period based on the retention time of DRAM cells has been proposed. Unfortunately, the multi-rate refresh technique has a scalability issue, because the additional storage and logic overhead on a memory controller increases as the device capacity increases. In this article, we propose a novel redundancy repair technique to increase the refresh period of DRAM by using a universal hashing technique. Our redundancy repair technique efficiently repairs both hard faults, which occur during themanufacturing process, and weak cells that have short retention time using the remaining spare elements after the process. Also, our technique solves the Variable Retention Time problem by repairing weak cells at boot time by exploiting the Builtin self-repair (BISR) technique and Error Correction Code. Our technique outperforms a conventional BISR redundancy repair with very little hardware overhead, and ensure reliability with more extended refresh period in the entire system. In particular, our experimental results show that our BISR technique achieves 100% repair rate at a 384ms refresh period in 1.0e-6 hard fault BER configuration, and reduces the refresh energy consumption by 83.9% compared to the 64ms refresh and 12% compared to the conventional multirate refresh technique for the state-of-The-Art 4Gb device.

Original languageEnglish
Article number53
JournalACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct


  • BISR algorithm
  • DRAM refresh
  • Redundancy repair
  • Retention time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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