Special Seminar

Pareto exploration methodology for future NVM memory technology options
Monday, October 31, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Gates 260
Dr. Francky Caththoor (IMEC, Belgium)
Abstract / Description: 

Scaling of volatile SRAM and DRAM memories is hitting limits on read and write power, area and endurance/reliability characteristics. For that reason, several researchers have started to study alternatives based on embedded and stand-alone non-volatile memory (NVM) options. The currently emerging PCM, STT-MRAMs and ReRAMS are promising in terms of reducing leakage and area, and indirectly also the dynamic read power. But they are not simultaneously meeting all the desirable figures-of-merit, such as the write and read access speed, or the endurance/reliability issues. Hence also other emerging memory options are being explored which have the promise to improve on read/write latency and endurance, while allowing trade-offs on other axis. These include faster magnetic STT-MRAMs, domain wall RAMS and better scalable ferro-electric resistive devices.

A need exists to compare these options in a systematic way though, which is as much as possible future-proof, including the link to the system design and hence to the overall processing platform. In this talk a systematic approach will be advocated to characterize these options in a multi-dimensional Pareto exploration space, and a few interesting directions will be positioned in this space to highlight the potential of this approach.


Francky Catthoor received the engineering degree and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium in 1982 and 1987 respectively. Between 1987 and 2000, he has headed several research domains in the area of high-level and system synthesis techniques and architectural methodologies. Since 2000 he is also strongly involved in other activities at IMEC including related application and deep submicron technology aspects, biomedical imaging and sensor nodes, and smart photo-voltaic modules, all at the Inter-university Micro-Electronics Center (IMEC), Heverlee, Belgium. Currently he is an IMEC fellow. He is part-time full professor at the EE department of the K.U.Leuven. In 1986 he received the Young Scientist Award from the Marconi
International Fellowship Council. He has been associate editor for several IEEE and ACM journals, like Trans. on VLSI Signal Procsesing, Trans. on Multi-media, and ACM TODAES. He was the program chair of several conferences including ISSS'97
and SIPS'01. He has been elected an IEEE fellow in 2005.