MARS

With the advent of memory technologies combining new features (non-volatility, density, performance, low power consumption, robustness), some architectural principles specifics into the field of embedded systems will eventually be reviewed. Such memory technology opens up particularly interesting in many application areas.

Please visit the ANR Web page.

Partners : EADS IW, IEF, LRI, CEA-LIST, LIRMM, SPINTEC,

The MARS project aims:

  • To explore the contribution of such technologies, including the integration of non-volatile MRAM technology (Magnetoresistive Random Access Memory)
  • Identifying and quantifying the levels and systems architecture benefits especially in terms of reliability, energy consumption and performance.

MRAM technology offers very interesting performances for non-volatile memory: access time (order of several nanoseconds), four times the density of SRAM, robustness against SEU (Single Event Upset), energy, endurance … etc. To facilitate the use of this technology, it is necessary to identify and quantify the benefits that we may get in a context of critical embedded applications, particularly in the field of aeronautics and space. For instance, the robustness of this technology considering SEU is probably an important way of development for this technology. However it is clear that efforts in this project can be adapted to wider application areas.

Our efforts will be on the suitability of this technology based on embedded processors architectures with a focus on two aspects:

  • The core of the processor and associated memory hierarchy. Regarding the processor core it is clear that innovative solutions will emerge from the technological advances of MRAM, either at the architectural level or logic level while optimizing Reliability / Energy / Performance.
  • To the memory hierarchy that extends from the registers to the mass memory through the cache, the non-volatility and intrinsic qualities of MRAM will allow to propose new paradigms of storage access within a processor or system in general.

The main novelty of this project is to focus architecture level, at the interface between advanced technology providing a new and profound review on the design of microelectronic embedded systems incoming from the MRAM technology.

Publications : vlsi_soc_2011

Contact : Lionel Torres, Lionel.Torres(at)lirmm.fr